The 100 Year Starship initiative aims at making interstellar travel a reality in the next 100 years. What are some challenges in space travel to a star beyond our solar system? During this plenary, the focus of the discussion will be centred around the importance of the grand challenge of interstellar travel to push both R&D and societal benefits. The format of the plenary will be broken up into two sessions on the following topics:
Time, distance and destinations. The first half of this theme will examine some of the challenges of getting a spaceship to another star system such as propulsion, navigation, and communication as well as how it pushes physics, astronomy, and planetology to a new level. The second half will look at some of the social science, health, and environmental aspects such as sociology, behavioural sciences, and some of the living structures in other systems.
Life, environment and habitats. In the first half of the session, the panel will address how interstellar travel enhances life on earth by examining some topics such as systems engineering, data management, remote sensing, and the application of space technology to developing countries. The second half of the session will ask what some of the fundamentals to becoming an interstellar civilization are with regards to access to Earth orbit, education, international cooperation, and legal considerations. This second half will also address how interstellar travel pushes humans’ imaginations by looking at the importance of
storytelling and global aspirations of space travel.