Apr 212016
Dream Big, Build Small to Reach the Stars

Well, that didn’t take as long we thought. A concept I first heard introduced at the 100-Year Starship symposium last fall proposed a stream of postage stamp-sized probes with light sails propelled by a 10-minute burst of laser beams that accelerates the probes to 20 percent light speed. At that speed, the probes could reach more »

Nov 192015
Finding Creative Paths to the Stars

From Epic World-Ship Journeys to Spamming Our Galactic Neighbors In Science Fiction, there are three ways to reach the stars: fly fast, fly slow, or fly tricky, or so an old saying goes. In science, mostly there are the same three ways, but none of the options can be reached through a creative, technobabble paragraph. Some more »

Mar 042012
Playboy and LEGO in space

Two views of leisure in space came across the Martian Sands news feeds a couple of weeks back. One, reported on Space.com and a number of other news organizations, was the illustrated fantasy vision from Playboy and Virgin Galactic of the ultimate pleasure palace, or in this case wheel-shaped space station, going around the world more »

Feb 192012
Philosophy of Physics: A Nobel Laureate's glimpse into the future

(First in a series of interviews speculating on life 100 years from now.) A faint trail of beeps from the sky in the mid-20th century saved Anthony Leggett from a career in classical philosophy. Those beeps led him instead to a Nobel Prize in physics in the first decade of the 21st century, awarded to more »