Sunday, October 24, 2010

NASA and DARPA to Build 100 Year Starship

This is probably not the actual vessel they're planning to build, but it should be.

According to Simon Worden, director of the NASA Ames Research Center, NASA and DARPA have joined forces to create a Hundred-Year Starship, a vessel meant to take explorers on a one way trip to other planets and star systems.

One way settlement missions have long been discussed as a plausible way of sending men to Mars and beyond and I personally believe such missions are not only likely but a necessary step in space exploration. But Worden's belief that "we’ll be on the moons of Mars by 2030 or so", manned mission or otherwise, Seems optimistic at best given NASA's inability to develop a suitable shuttle replacement over ten years and billions of dollars worth of trying. Not to mention the fact that we have yet to make it back to our own moon in nearly 40 years.

But Worden insists that the space program is now "really aimed at settling other worlds" and hopes to persuade billionaires like Google founder Larry page to invest in the project. Which is at least a step in the right direction given that many, myself included, believe the advances in technology needed to advance space exploration will come from the private sector rather than the Government.



Also check out this article from Science News Daily for a more detailed discussion of a one-way mission to Mars.

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