The story of research toward gravity-control and faster-than-light space flight
book will tell the story of the people and cutting-edge research that pursue ideal star flight – like the 'Warp
Drive' of Star Trek and the
'Hyperspace' of Star Wars. It
will be a broader-audience companion book to our recent graduate-level book, Frontiers of
Propulsion Science (AIAA, 2009),
which examines the connection between unsolved physics and starship visions.
the rocket scientist who ran NASA's "Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project,"
and am the lead editor and a contributing author to the Frontiers book. That NASA project (1996-2002) brought
the fiction of propellant-less space drives and faster-than-light flight into
the realm of scientific discourse. Ten different approaches were assessed and
sixteen peer-reviewed articles were published for less than $2-million. After
NASA funding was cut for all advanced propulsion research, my colleagues and I
established the nonprofit "Tau Zero Foundation" to continue. In
2010, I took an early retirement from NASA so that I could devote more
attention to these high-payoff, far-term goals, and to help my network of
fellow practitioners get support for such research. Arguably, I am the authoritative
source about such ambitions.
to popular belief, NASA and other organizations do NOT routinely fund such far-future work, since this research appears to be beyond foreseeable returns on investment. Another impediment is that potential sponsors find it difficult to tell the difference between those crazy ideas that might become breakthroughs and the more numerous, genuinely crazy ideas.
The funds will be used to write
enough material to secure a publishing deal and to assist some of my
fellow practitioners to deliver fresh content and produce new graphics. I need
to know by mid-late September if I'll have the resources to do this. At
that time, I will have to choose between various options for my future. My
top wish is to do this book as my next step.
companion book is my way of bringing these fascinating possibilities to broader
audiences and to inspire future generations of spaceflight pioneers. A sample
of my broader-audience writing is the chapter, "Making the Jump to Light-Speed," (in the National
Geographic book, Star Wars, Where Science
Meets Imagination, Ed Rodley, ed, 2005).
the success of Krauss's The Physics of
Star Trek (Harper, 1996), – which only touched on the issues, not the possibilities
– I am confident that such a companion book would be well received.
vision for the book is to explain the complex notions of space drives and space
warps using illustrated analogies to more familiar phenomena (e.g.
space drive as a soap boat). I plan to be the sole author, but will draw
upon inputs from fellow scientists and the artistic services of Alexandre
Szames (who does art for our Tau Zero
Foundation, French aerospace periodicals, and science
you assist me ? Can you please help me show others how progress is
indeed being made, and instill hope for a better future where people
conquer these challenges instead of being left with no other challenge than to
conquer each other?
you for you consideration,