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100-Year Starship Announcement

by Austin Brown on October 28th, 02010

Long Conversation – Pete Worden Announces 100-Year Starship from The Long Now Foundation on Vimeo.

Long Conversation – Pete Worden Announces 100-Year Starship from The Long Now Foundation.

On October 16th, Long Now hosted the Long Conversation as part of our Longplayer event.  Speaking with Peter Schwartz about the future of space travel, NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden announced a collaborative project between Ames and DARPA.  The two agencies have set aside just over a million dollars to begin research on a 100-year starship.

The announcement was first publicized by Amara Angelica writing for the Kurzweil AI blog:

NASA Ames Director Simon “Pete” Worden revealed Saturday that NASA Ames has “just started a project with DARPA called the Hundred Year Starship,” with $1 million funding from DARPA and $100K from NASA.

“You heard it here,” said Worden at “Long Conversation,” a Long Now Foundation event in San Francisco. “We also hope to inveigle some billionaires to form a Hundred Year Starship fund,” Dr. Worden added. (No further details on this are available from NASA at this time.)

“The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds,” he explained. “Twenty years ago you had to whisper that in dark bars and get fired.”

It later bounced its way over to Huffington Post and MSNBC’s Cosmic Log.

UPDATE:  On Oct 28th DARPA released this official statement (PDF).  MSNBC also covered it here.