Image: An artist’s conception of a possible Icarus design. Credit: Adrian Mann.

 

Icarus Interstellar – A Grass Roots Community

by PAUL GILSTER on MARCH 1, 2013

One of the pleasures of conferences like the recent Huntsville gathering is the chance to meet up with old friends. Richard Obousy and I had been talking about his offering a review of Icarus Interstellar’s recent work for some time, and Huntsville gave us the chance to firm up the idea. The article below is the result, an examination of the Icarus team’s current structure and planning as they continue with the Project Icarus starship design and look toward other interstellar possibilities. The president and primary propulsion senior scientist for Icarus, Richard is a familiar face on Centauri Dreams. He did his doctoral work at Baylor University, studying the possibility that dark energy could be an artifact of Casimir energy in extra dimensions. He’s now engaged in planning the Icarus conference this summer, about which more shortly.

By Richard Obousy

Having served as President of Icarus Interstellar for 18 months now, I’ve been privileged to be knee deep in the evolving face of this exciting organization. I’ve been promising Paul an article since last September and I’ve realized that much of my procrastination has been founded on not quite knowing how and where to start.

Perhaps the easiest place to begin is to discuss very broadly our organizational structure, and to then talk about some of the elements of that structure to bring clarity to our activities. Icarus Interstellar is a 501(c)(3) US tax exempt non-profit organization with a mission statement to launch an interstellar probe by 2100. While this is certainly a bold objective, especially considering the arguably slow pace of current space exploration activities, I believe it’s important that we set our objectives high. Setting a date gives us something tangible and measurable to aim for, and we’re ever aware that the clock is ticking.

Icarus Interstellar is organized around four Committees, which serve as ‘bins’, for lack of a more endearing term, for certain projects and programs. In my mind, the nucleus of the organization is the Research Committee, which houses several exciting projects which I’ll summarize briefly here.

Read more: Icarus Interstellar – A Grass Roots Community — Centauri Dreams.

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