The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has released a request for Information (RFI) to solicit ideas and information to support its 100 Year Starship Study program.

The 100 Year Starship Study is a project seeded by DARPA to develop a viable and sustainable model for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make interstellar space travel practicable and feasible, the agency said in a statement.

This RFI seeks to solicit ideas for an organization, business model and approach appropriate for a self-sustaining investment vehicle. The focus should be on flexible yet robust mechanisms by which an endowment can be created and sustained, DARPA said.

The solicited abstracts for papers and/or topics/members for discussion panels, are to be presented at the 100 Year Starship Study Symposium to be held in Orlando, Florida from September 30 through October 2, 2011, the agency added.

This won't just be another space technology conference - we're hoping that ethicists, lawyers, science fiction writers, technologists and others, will participate in the dialog to make sure we're thinking about all the aspects of interstellar flight, said David Neyland, director of the Tactical Technology Office for DARPA. This is a great opportunity for people with interesting ideas to be heard, which we believe will spur further thought, dreaming and innovation.