The concept of interstellar space travel may be a fantasy as of now, but scientists are trying to make it a reality, and they are looking for ideas.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Pentagon and NASA's Ames Research Center are going to host a 100 Year Starship Study Symposium in Orlando, Florida from September 30 to October 2. So if you have an idea of making Star Trek a reality, go ahead and submit paper abstracts.
The winner will get $500,000 for the idea.
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, David Neyland, director of the Tactical Technology Office for DARPA, said in a statement.
As many as 150 competitors answered the US Federal Government's initial call for private sector cosmic ideas this month. Officials said the plan is to make interstellar travel possible in about a century.
In 1980s, the Defence Department devised a space-based missile defense system known as Star Wars. DARPA, known for big spending, is investing a total of $1 million on the project.
At the conference, which is scheduled later this year, presenters will be discussing the practical and fantastic issues man needs to address to achieve interstellar flight one hundred years from now, the agencies said. After the presentations are made, DARPA will decide the winner in November.
There will be different tracks in the conference. The proposals can be based on those topics or can cover a completely fresh topic also. Tracks include:
* Time-distance solutions
* Education, social, economic, and legal considerations
* Philosophical and religious considerations
* Biology and space medicine
* Habitats and environmental science
* Communication of the vision.
NASA and DARPA pointed to Jules Verne, the author of the 1865 science fantasy From the Earth to the Moon. In the novel, Verne proposed the idea of sending humans to the moon, an idea that was rather fantastic at that point of time. But, just after 100 years that became a reality, proving that a century can fundamentally change our understanding of our universe and reality.