This project's funding goal was not reached on September 28, 2012.
About this project
The story of research toward gravity-control and faster-than-light space flight
This 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.
I am 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.
Contrary 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.
This 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).
Given 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.
My 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 museums).
Can 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?
Thank you for you consideration,
Marc G Millis.
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- (24 days)