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International Audacious SpaceInitiative Partners with Brussels-Based ISC Intelligence to Support EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Goals to Meet Global Challenges on Earth

BRUSSELS/HOUSTON, March 5, 2015100 Year Starship™ (100YSS™), an independent, long-term global initiative working to ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar travel, beyond our solar system to another star, exist within the next 100 years today announced the establishment of its hub in the European Union. The inaugural [email protected]ä Hub debuted at the ES:GC2 (European Science: Global Challenges Global Collaboration) Conference held by the Brussels partner ISC Intelligence.

The [email protected] Hub will further the 100YSS mission and facilitate robust transatlantic and international collaboration in research and innovation, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) capacity building, entrepreneurship and education projects between organizations, companies, universities and individuals, as well as support the objectives of the EU’s Horizon 2020. The U.S.-based 100YSS began with a competitive seed-funding grant from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever and is aimed at implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative designed to secure Europe’s global competitiveness.

The [email protected] HUB, a partnership between 100YSS and ISC Intelligence in Science, a Brussels-based science and technology public policy firm, will support the European Union’s commitment to enable European competitiveness, non-dependence, and innovation in space activities and the application of space exploration technologies to address many of the global challenges confronting the world today.

“As history has proven, when we explore space, we garner the greatest benefits here at home—witness the widespread use of GPS, weather data, remote sensing for farming, MRI scans,” said former NASA astronaut, engineer and physician Dr. Mae Jemison, who leads 100YSS. “The raison d’etre of 100YSS is to foster radical leaps in knowledge, technology design, and human systems by using the framework of human interstellar travel to enhance life on earth.”

“The challenges we face travelling beyond our solar system to another star – be it energy, massive data handling, sustainable agriculture, education, financial infrastructure, life support, governance or recyclable clothing — will generate transformative research, knowledge, technology and solutions that will dramatically benefit every nation on Earth in the near term and years to come.”

“The European Union has identified space as a key programme area in Horizon 2020. Building the kind of robust space enterprise the EU envisions, requires transatlantic science collaboration, the very potent ingredient the [email protected] HUB offers us,” said Declan Kirrane, Managing Director, ISC Intelligence in Science.

According to Kirrane, the [email protected] Hub will support the EU’s research and exploration projects through a variety of initiatives. They include collaborative international projects in basic sciences and cutting edge space technology and their commercial application including in developing countries; support of bold STEM initiatives such as R&D and innovation accelerator centers; transdisciplinary programs and workshops; international advocacy and best practice STEM education programs; and robust outreach that galvanizes public support.

The [email protected] Hub marks the first such Hub created by 100YSS. Another Hub is soon to be established in South Africa with the Da Vinci Institute.

Both Hubs are part of a global network of research and innovation centers 100YSS is building whose activities include transatlantic collaborations and partnerships with Africa and other emerging regions. The centers partner with governments, industry, academia, and social sector organizations worldwide.

Led by Dr. Jemison, 100YSS is an inclusive initiative. It fosters an approach that first recognizes and then both optimally employs and develops the skills, talents, expertise and perspectives of individuals across gender, ethnicity, race, geography and disciplines. As the first African American woman to travel in space (1992’s Space Shuttle Endeavour), Dr. Jemison brings to her leadership role her vast experience as an engineer, physician, former Peace Corps medical officer, and entrepreneur. Jemison is joined in 100YSS by an impressive cadre of physical, life and social scientists, engineering researchers, entrepreneurs, policy experts, educators and university professors, media professionals, writers and artists.


100 Year Starship® (100YSS), an independent, non-governmental, long-term initiative to ensure the capabilities for human interstellar flight exist as soon as possible, and definitely within the next 100 years. 100YSS was started in 2012 with seed-funding through a competitive grant from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and support from NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for the purpose of fostering the type of explosive innovation and technology and social advances born from addressing such an incredible challenge. 100YSS is part of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence. For more information, visit

On social media:


Twitter: @100YSS

ABOUT ISC Intelligence

ISC is a Brussels-based communication firm specialized in science, technology and R&D research and policy. ISC provides intelligence on science and innovation policy and programs and has over a decade of experience in science communication at the European and international levels. For more information, visit

On social media:

Twitter: @iscintelligence

ISC Contact:

Declan Kirrane

ISC Intelligence in Science

[email protected]

+32 (0) 2 88 88 109

100YSS Contact:

Stephanie Hornback/Cynthia Carway

Carway Communications, Inc.

[email protected]


The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

Posted in business, complex systems, defense, economics, education, engineering, finance, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, sustainabilityTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments on The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US$1.19E+14
Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US$1.25E+20 and US$6.25E+21
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between $2.6E12 and $25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!!
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of $2.6E12 to $25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.

These costs are humongous. The Everly Brothers said it the best.

Let’s step back and ask ourselves the question, is this the tool kit we have to achieve interstellar travel? Are we serious? Is this why DARPA — the organization that funds many strange projects — said it will take more than a 100 years? Are we not interested in doing something sooner? What happened to the spirit of the Kline Directive?

From a space exploration perspective economic viability is a strange criterion. It is not physics, neither is it engineering, and until recently, the space exploration community has been government funded to the point where realistic cost accountability is nonexistent.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not about agreeing to a payment scheme and providing the services as contracted. Government contractors have learned to do that very well. It is about standing on your own two feet, on a purely technology driven commercial basis. This is not an accounting problem, and accountants and CFOs cannot solve this. They would have no idea where to start. This is a physics and engineering problem that shows up as an economic viability problem that only physicists and engineers can solve.

The physics, materials, technology and manufacturing capability has evolved so much that companies like Planetary Resources, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corp, Virgin Galactic, and the Ad Astra Rocket Company are changing this economic viability equation. This is the spirit of the Kline Directive, to seek out what others would not.

So I ask the question, whom among you physicist and engineers would like to be engaged is this type of endeavor?

But first, let us learn a lesson from history to figure out what it takes. Take for example DARPA funding of the Gallium Arsenide. “One of DARPA’s lesser known accomplishments, semiconductor gallium arsenide received a push from a $600-million computer research program in the mid-1980s. Although more costly than silicon, the material has become central to wireless communications chips in everything from cellphones to satellites, thanks to its high electron mobility, which lets it work at higher frequencies.”

In the 1990s Gallium Arsenide semiconductors were so expensive that “silicon wafers could be considered free”. But before you jump in and say that is where current interstellar propulsion theories are, you need to note one more important factor.

The Gallium Arsenide technology had a parallel commercially proven technology in place, the silicon semiconductor technology. None of our interstellar propulsion technology ideas have anything comparable to a commercially successful parallel technology. (I forgot conventional rockets. Really?) A guesstimate, in today’s dollars, of what it would cost to develop interstellar travel propulsion given that we already had a parallel commercially proven technology, would be $1 billion, and DARPA would be the first in line to attempt this.

Given our theoretical physics and our current technological feasibility, this cost analysis would suggest that we require about 10 major technological innovations, each building on the other, before interstellar travel becomes feasible.

That is a very big step. Almost like reaching out to eternity. No wonder Prof Adam Franks in his July 24, 2012 New York Times Op-Ed, Alone in the Void, wrote “Short of a scientific miracle of the kind that has never occurred, our future history for millenniums will be played out on Earth”.

Therefore, we need to communicate to the theoretical physics community that they need get off the Theory of Everything locomotive and refocus on propulsion physics. In a later blog posting I will complete the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM). Please use it to converse with your physicist colleagues and friends about the need to focus on propulsion physics.

In the spirit of the Kline Directive — bold, explore, seek & change — can we identify the 10 major technological innovations? Wouldn’t that keep you awake at night at the possibility of new unthinkable inventions that will take man where no man has gone before?

PS. I was going to name the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM), the Feasibility Matrix for Interstellar Travel (FMIT), then I realized that it would not catch on at MIT, and decided to stay with ICM.

Previous post in the Kline Directive series.

Next post in the Kline Directive series.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.