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100 Year Starship

A group of intrepid scientists, entrepreneurs, and adventuresome individuals have teamed up to create a daring new plan to transport humanity out of our Solar System and into the oceans of the Cosmos. It’s called the 100 Year Starship Initiative, and it has attracted a lot of national attention recently. Many heavy-hitters in the political and business world have joined the initiative, bringing financial and social renown along with them as the project begins its first stage in planning and development.

Former Astronaut Mae Jemison, the founder of the Dorothy Jemison Foundation For Excellence, won a bid through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) for her organization to create a non-governmental plan to make interstellar travel a reality by the year 2112. This became known as the 100 Year Starship Project.

The Mission Statement on the project’s website reads, “100 Year Starship will pursue national and global initiatives, and galvanize public and private leadership and grassroots support, to assure that human travel beyond our solar system and to another star can be a reality within the next century…”. This year, at the 2012 100 YSS Public Symposium, many prominent figures spoke and shared data, analysis, tech advancements, and future project goals. Former President Bill Clinton was also present.

This endeavor is exciting and inspiring, and compliments several recent ventures by billionaire visionaries such as James Cameron and Peter Thiel, among others, to bring social and technological advancements to our society. While it sounds more like Star Trek and less like reality, the amount of funding and support the project has received is very real indeed.

In order for this initiative to accomplish its lofty ambitions, several new technologies must be advanced, such as breakthroughs in robotics, medical capabilities, behavioral training, and life-support systems. The sort of involvement the 100 YSS requires will help to create new jobs and innovations in nearly all fields of societal development, while ultimately making the initiative possible in the time allotted.

It’s long been a dream of our society to travel and explore the stars as popularized in television shows and movie blockbusters. From now until 2112, many limits and theories on physics, time travel, human abilities, and the like will have been tested, and new limits will arrive to replace the old ones.

In a world where economic hardships headline the news on a daily basis, this initiative offers hope and inspiration for the coming generations. Those few of us who may live to see this project to its completion will remember these times as distant memories in the grand scheme of things, and we will appreciate the visionaries and risk takers who made the future possible.



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