Day 1 – Interstellar Now (Next 20 Years) | Thursday August 15th, 2013
The Icarus Interstellar Starship Congress aims to bring together the interstellar community to foster discussion and generate tangible action. Our ambition is to move humanity toward becoming an interstellar civilization, with a broad campaign of exploration and migration to begin by the year 2100.
Part 2 of Day 1
1:15pm Keynote: Pavel Tsvetkov, “Direct Fission Fragment Energy Conversion for Near-Term Interstellar Exploration”
Nuclear engineer Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov has been announced as a keynote speaker for Icarus Interstellar’s 2013 Starship Congress. His talk will focus on the fission-fragment rocket, a rocket engine design that directly harnesses hot nuclear fission products for thrust, rather than using a separate fluid as working mass.
2:00pm Presentation 6: John Hunter, “The Hydrogen Gas Gun: Part of the Interstellar Roadmap”
Since the 1940s, vast intellectual and financial capital has been directed toward the development of chemical rocket technology. This is partly due to the breathtaking ability of rockets to deliver ordnance payloads to virtually any location on the planet in a very short amount of time. This has lead to the myopic belief that rockets are the only way to launch payloads into Earth orbit. This viewpoint is fundamentally flawed, and in this talk I’ll discuss a technology that holds the potential to radically alter our collective paradigm regarding Earth-to-Orbit launch technologies.
The Hydrogen gas gun is, conceptually, a simple mechanism that involves heating hydrogen gas to a high temperature. This gas is then released into a barrel accelerating a payload to high velocities. We have built and tested such a device and launched payloads at 3.1km/s. With relatively straight forward modifications we could scale this mechanism to launch payloads to full orbital velocities, allowing for the systematic and ongoing delivery of non-organic payloads into Earth orbit.
A large scale campaign of solar system exploration and colonization that may very well be the first steps necessary to kickstart the launch of our first interstellar mission will likely require thousands, if not tens of thousands of tons to be launched into Earth orbit. Due to the costs involved, this is largely considered prohibitive today. I will demonstrate that Hydrogen gas guns can be used to deliver propellant to LEO at $100 per lb and that the path to the stars can begin today with the Hydrogen gas gun.
2:25pm Presentation 7: Rob Adams, “Building, Repairing and Upgrading Vehicles in Space”
The explosion of rapid prototyping methods here on Earth has not gone unnoticed by the space community. Manufacturing in space offers numerous advantages in terms of in-situ resource utilization. This presentation will review the options for constructing new spacecraft, repairing damaged spacecraft in transit to their destination and creating upgrades to enhance capabilities as new opportunities arise. Current research will be presented in in-situ manufacturing and potential issues and solutions.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.