About this project
$15k MINI-STRETCH GOAL POWER-UP
The bridge was busy.
Deep space navigation corrections, engine heat rejection imbalances and faint remote signals required constant attention. I was standing in front of my station. The panel of instruments was familiar to me. I got to work programming a deep survey scan using a recursive heuristic algorithm and a cross-correlation filter on the distant signal.
It was taking a long time to resolve. The science officer rushed in and attached a circuit board to my panel - a prototype AI analog signal scanner she had been working on for months. The screen rescaled, normalized. A sequence resolved. There was something there.A pattern.
A team was being assembled for an away mission. The commander seemed nervous… we were called into the situation room...
When I woke, I was no longer on the USS Daedalus. The logic of my algorithm still rang true, resonating with the familiar conviction of dream state achievements. I wished there was a way to write it down somehow.
Breath came with difficulty. I was angry. My heart pounded... inspired... eager... ready... Endorphins rushed through my body... physical evidence of dedication for INTERSTELLAR EXPLORATION.
I reached over to my tricorder / communications device / research library and pressed hard on the HOME button:
This special award will be added to all pledges if we reach $15k.
Limited Edition - ONLY 500 WILL EVER BE MADE
PRO TIP: Manage and Adjust your current Pledge to help reach this goal.
Compatible with iPhone/iPod/iPad, this Interstellar Grade iPhone Home Button is manufactured in the U.S. with very high quality, a smooth dome shape and a 3M adhesive that leaves no residue when removed. (Our manufacturer is perfered by Starbucks, Under Armour, BMW and other major brands.)
FINAL CAMPAIGN GOAL
"Are you the Kwisatz Haderach?"
As you know our Kickstarter campaign has succeeded! And yet...
...there is still the role of the 1st Kwisatz Haderach of Starship Congress!
From the $3000 rewards tier:
"You are the Kwisatz Haderach! With great power comes great responsibility—you will Call to Order and address the very first Starship Congress. Plus two (2) $600 reward packages for a total of four (4) registrations with all the accompanying goodies. Your participation will get full-coverage on Icarus Interstellar website and full-page recognition in official Starship Congress program. You will have personalized attention and increased access throughout the 4-day event, including one-on-one access to directors of Icarus Interstellar and Starship Congress. Lastly, your immortality will be assured—you will record a special greeting for the DVD edition of Starship Congress 2013."
...WOW! Does that sound great OR WHAT??!
The 1st Kwisatz Haderach of the first-ever Starship Congress
This is a genuine role. Is it YOU? Is it someone you know? That's right, you may know the Kwisatz Haderach! You may know of the woman or man [Kwisatz Haderach is an equal-opportunity opportunity] who finds the chance to address and be acknowledged by the amassed interstellar space exploration and science community to be of fantastic value.
For our part, Icarus Interstellar will insure the Kwisatz Haderach to have wide access to speakers, directors, and all present. Naturally, as this is a ceremonial role, with it comes responsibilities—such as relative sanity and if not decorum at least a good sense of humor.
Imaginably a successful candidate for Kwisatz Haderach is someone who can make use of the associated long-term notoriety and self-aggrandizing reach of this role to further their own agenda—while having fun with a measured grain of salt.
It would be appropriate for someone who is 1) widely-known or 2) relatively unknown, either of which will obviously benefit from the publicity and exposure.
And talk about publicity! YOU ARE THE KWISATZ HADERACH! The money of course goes to benefit Icarus Interstellar. Even better: As Icarus Interstellar is a non-profit, the entire contribution is tax-deductible. That means even more WOOT for your loot!
To our Kickstarter supporters, please feel free to suggest a candidate for 1st Kwisatz Haderach—or forward this information to someone you believe may be a candidate for the role.
The 1st Kwisatz Haderach of Starship Congress.
It's good work if you can get it.
WE DID IT!! CAMPAIGN FUNDED!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone, go get astronaut ice cream: WE DID IT! Together WE DID IT!!! WOWOWOWOWOWOW!! Omg OMG OMGOOGLE! YES YES YES YES...
OK OK we're cool—breathing breathing—read on below.
So in honor of this success, we created a new $20 POSTER category.
See the BUILD A STARSHIP/ Starship Congress 2013 poster above? These are full color, offset printed, BIG (2' x 3' big) ...and there are only 500 ever. These posters are the actual posters to be available exclusively at Starship Congress. We love you all THAT much!
AND DID WE MENTION HOW AWESOME OUR CAMPAIGN SUPPORTERS ARE???
BECAUSE YOU ARE!!
DAVID BRIN ENDORSEMENT!!!
OMGoogle! Our 3rd update is fantastic as well! First news: our Kickstarter campaign has broke the $4k mark! WOOHOO!!!! Next: Starship Congress is unbelievably privileged and pleased to announce the addition of Keynote Speaker (and TED Fellow) Dr Rachel Armstrong! Dr Armstrong will be discussing Project Persephone and the development of materials for spacecraft which—wait for it—have the characteristic of living creatures. Walls that "heal" their own breaches, trusses which communicate pressure loads, worldships that grow! YES! Now THIS is the stuff the future is made of!
We've had a lot of inquiries about our "BUILD A STAR SHIP" wristbands—and stickers and tshirts—and yes they are really, really awesome. How awesome? Good question! So here's a photograph of [science fiction god] David Brin snapped by photographer Paul Polmes at last month's Starship Century conference held at UCSD's Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.
Look closely at his right wrist.
Hold onto your space helmets—NASA Eagleworks scientist Dr Harold "Sonny" White is delivering a Keynote speech update on quantum field mechanics—that's right, we are talking actual warp speed space travel research by NASA!
Starship Congress. First, some background.
What is Icarus Interstellar?
IMPORTANT NOTE: Our rewards are made up of stuff that we would want ourselves. That's no accident—Icarus Interstellar is made up of professional scientists, physicists, engineers, researchers, futurists, artists, writers, and content creators, all of whom started as fans. We are still fans. Space and science are the fields we all love. So our rewards are designed to appeal to 1) people who are currently professionals and 2) people who want to work with space professionals and become space professionals theirselves. Also, we’ve created a lot of rewards under $100 - more than some Kickstarter campaigns use as their complete rewards list. We did this on purpose, too.*
Please scan our reward levels—even if you can’t afford to commit at the higher price points. We’re doing some pretty interesting stuff we’d like you to know about; some of which is only described in the rewards list.
Maybe you know someone at work, or school, or a relative, who might want to get involved? We’d appreciate their support as well as yours.
First, Project Daedalus
“On the basis of a slight assumption I have undertaken a dangerous journey, and I already see the promontories of new lands. Those people who have the resolution to set forth on this undertaking will enter these lands and have the pleasure of designating them with their very own names.”
- Immanuel Kant, Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven, 1755, and introduction to Project Daedalus study.
“[This author] defers to no one in admiration of Project Daedalus, the 1970s-era starship design that emerged from the British Interplanetary Society.”
- Paul Gilster, Centauri Dreams, 2006
Once upon a time—in the history of interstellar space exploration—there was a 1973-1978 study called Project Daedalus. Funded by the highly-regarded, well-established, scientist-funded British Interplanetary Society (BIS), Project Daedalus was the first sincere human effort to conceive of a spacecraft capable of interstellar travel. Having got a taste for the stars by way of humankind's making it on to the moon, scientists in the BIS of the day were more than ready for more. Thus was born Project Daedalus, it's goal, "to design a plausible interstellar unmanned spacecraft that could reach a nearby star within one human scientist's working lifetime." The conclusion of the study? Interstellar space exploration was feasible but the cost made it out of reach. That was 1978. One of the most lasting contributions of the study were these three precepts:
- The spacecraft must use current or near-current technology.
- The spacecraft must reach its destination within a human lifetime.
- The spacecraft must be designed to allow for a variety of targets stars.
And, of course, the Daedalus: a 54k-tonne two-stage spacecraft to be powered by inertial confinement fusion using electron beams to compress D/He3 fusion capsules to ignition. It would obtain an eventual cruise velocity of 36,000 km/s (or 12% the speed of light) from over 700kN of thrust, burning at a specific impulse of 1 million seconds, reaching its interstellar destination in approximately 50 years.
Next up, Project Icarus
Project Icarus: Son of Daedalus – flying closer to another star"— was the full name of the 2009 study commissioned by BIS and Tau Zero Foundation which revisited the Daedalus design study after 30 years of scientific and technological advances. Led by aerospace engineer Dr Kelvin Long, like Daedalus, Project Icarus had its own guidelines, including:
- To design a credible interstellar probe that is a concept design for a potential mission this century;
- To all a direct technology comparison with Daedalus and provide an assesment of the maturity of fusion-based space propulsion for future precursor missions;
- To generate greater interest in the real term prospects for interstellar precursor missions;
- To motivate a new generation of scientists to be interested in designing space missions that go beyond our solar system. [our emphasis]
And a new spacecraft:
Armed with new appreciation for the earlier-collected Daedalus data, juxatoposed upon the extraordinary and unforeseen scientific breakthroughs of the 30-years since the first study by new eyes, a realization suddenly came into focus:
We are now capable of engineering an interstellar accomplishment.
And here is where it gets really, really good.
Icarus Interstellar—the rubber meets the road (so to speak).
Armed with this revelation, three Project Icarus leaders—Dr Long, and Dr Andreas Tziolas and Dr Richard Obousy—went forth and formed a new organization, Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit tasked with a single ambitious goal:
To Build a Starship.
In the two years since it's formation on 2011, Icarus Interstellar has become one of the most galvanizing voluntary space science organizations on the planet.
What started as three individuals now numbers over 100—made up of scientists, researchers, academia, physicists, thinkers, engineers, artists, as well as other specialists from a variety of relevant fields: architects, writers, marketers, designers, organizers, and most importantly educators. Members of the many teams and divisions which make up Icarus Interstellar are known as "icarii", and it is a title members where with pride. In the time since its foundation, Icarus Interstellar has become the largest interstellar science organization on the planet. Dedicated to a single goal—building a starship—Icarus Interstellar shares resources and goals with Tau Zero Foundation, SpaceGAMBIT and Dr Long's newly-minted Institute for Interstellar Studies (I4IS).
With the enormous interest and growth in interstellar science, along with the supporting organizations, Icarus Interstellar is proud to introduce Starship Congress, "the first-ever summit of the world's interstellar space science organizations and advocates".
As a volunteer organization, we have made enormous progress in mounting this summit.
The bottom line: STARSHIP CONGRESS
Imagine collectively experiencing the progressive thoughts and unencumbered designs of the world's leading spacecraft designers, engineers, and astro-theorists. Picture for a moment, attending a forum where scientists, physicists, engineers, researchers, urban designers, representatives from international space programs and present-day commercial space operators, as well as popular and well-known interstellar speakers and space journalists share their visions for how the future of spaceflight and interstellar exploration is to unfold.
This is the vision behind Starship Congress, to be held August 15-18, 2013, at the Anatole Hilton Conference Center, Dallas, TX. The aim of Starship Congress is to bring together the interstellar community to foster discussion surrounding the development of deep space exploration within the next several decades, and how we may better move humanity toward becoming an interstellar civilization.
Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century, will facilitate such a forum as a means for allowing individuals to present and share knowledge and ideas among colleagues within the space exploration community. As an organization run by volunteers, Icarus Interstellar is reaching out to space enthusiasts and supporters to assist in funding this important event, which will incur significant expenses pertaining to venue rental, A/V technical requirements, live streaming of the conference, featured guest speaker travel procurement, and outreach.
Your help, by means of a donation and/or ticket purchase, will enable us to do cooler stuff and fly out students and have The Greatest First-Ever Summit of International Interstellar Space Explorations Organizations and Advocates ever! AND your backing Starship Congress will actually serve to advance human spaceflight within and beyond our solar system, perhaps one day giving rise to an interstellar human presence. Public support is how truly great advancements in spaceflight are born, as the ability to explore outer space is an opportunity that, in some way or another, must be extended to everyone.
Even a $20 contribution** will help towards our fundraising goal. A little more, and your name will be acknowledged during the event with our most sincere gratitude. Check the rewards, they are pretty solid.
(Interested in becoming an OFFICIAL SPONSOR of the 2013 Starship Congress? See the upper tier rewards offers.)
* Completely borrowed—with acknowledment—from LiftPort Group's successful Kickstarter campaign. (Thanks, Austin Kleon!)
** "The Mug". See $20 reward, true believer!
Take a look at the exciting rewards we're offering. Besides admission to Starship Congress, you can claim DVDs of the entire event's proceedings—and credit as a Founding Supporter too! Also, we are offering signed copies of James & Greg Benford's Starship Century.
The BUILD A STAR SHIP wristbands are 100% guaranteed conversation starters. Back an interstellar space exploration summit and get a wristband that practically radiates geek cred! What's not to like?
For supporters who want something to display your authoritative "I was interstellar before interstellar was strictly speaking feasible" credibility, what says outlier better than the Icarus Interstellar Team lapel badge?
And then there's ...The Mug.
Alright, there you have it! From everyone at Icarus Interstellar, thank you!
Risks and challenges
Associated risks are minimal, as the Starship Congress is taking place in mid-August in Dallas, TX. Reaching our fund-raising goal only insures that this technical summit is properly marketed, documented, and presented. Icarus Interstellar wishes to make as much knowledge surrounding interstellar spaceflight and exploration as publicly available as possible.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As Icarus Interstellar is a non-profit organization, donations are tax deductible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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