One lucky entity that can dedicate to creating a plan to send humans to another star could get $500,000 in seed money from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the research and development arm of the U.S military.
Last fall, DARPA and NASA formed a partnership to take the first step in the next era of space exploration. That is, embarking on a journey between the stars. That is called the 100-Year Starship study and DARPA wants to award a grant on Nov. 11 for the plan.
The 100-Year Starship study will examine the business model needed to develop and grow a technology portfolio that enables long-distance manned space flight a century from now, DARPA has said in a statement.
David Neyland, DARPA's director of the Tactical Technology Office, told Geek.com that his agency doesn't intend to carry the plan forward, but expects to hand the keys over to chosen organization and wish them well.
The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is about 4.4 light-years away from us.
Neyland told Geek.com that nobody is actually smart enough to know what could come of the 100-Year Starship study and added that it would be naïve to even know what the right questions would be to ask right now.