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Posted: May 05, 2011
DARPA releases request for information for the 100 Year Starship Study
(Nanowerk News) 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 StarshipStudy 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 genesis of the 100 Year Starship Study is to foster a rebirth of a sense of wonder among students, academia, industry, researchers and the general population to consider "why not" and to encourage them to tackle whole new classes of research and development related to all the issues surrounding long duration, long distance spaceflight. DARPA contends that the useful, unanticipated consequences of such research will have benefit to the Department of Defense and to NASA, and well as the private and commercial sector.
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. The mechanism would be wholly devoid of government subsidy or control, and could address issues in the sciences, engineering, humanities, or the arts that may be encountered in the pursuit of achieving interstellar flight. Several attributes are of interest, specifically:
Long-term survivability over a century-long time horizon
Self-governance, independent of government participation or oversight
Self-sustainment, independent of government funding
Relevance for moving humanity toward the goal of interstellar travel, including related technological, biological, social, economic and other issues
DARPA is supported in this effort by NASA Ames Research Center, who will be acting as the execution agent on DARPA's behalf.
The government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this RFI or otherwise pay for the information solicited. DARPA will be unable to answer questions about the RFI. Responses as a single file in Adobe PDF electronic format can be submitted to 100YSS@darpa.mil by 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time, Friday, June 3, 2011.