To the Initiative for Interstellar Studies

Scientia ad Sidera

Knowledge to the Stars

We conduct

Credible research into the science and technology of Starships

We seek

To make new artificial and natural habitats whilst finding ways

to improve the Earth and help the Life that it has nurtured

We Work

Towards a capable and confident

human species in interplanetary space

We Inspire

and motivate the public about the achievements of
space exploration and give optimism for the future


We Aspire

to foster and create a star colonising civilisation

We Search

the Universe and seek out intelligent life elsewhere

Latest News

Friday, 23rd January 2015

Join our 'supporting members'!

Did you know i4is is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation?  We are now inviting 'Supporting Memberships' of the Initiative for one year with a small subscription of £10 / €12 / $15. This will help us to foster and promote education, knowledge and technical capabilities to launch a mission to the stars within our lifetime! Click on 'Support us via PayPal' in the top right hand corner. Read more
Tuesday, 13th January 2015

i4iS goes Stratospheric

We are pleased to announce the exciting achievement of Shackleton 2 to 89,000 ft using a helium filled baloon. The success was achieved by Sam Harrison and Daniel Parker. The probe carried the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4iS) logo, and the photos clearly show the wonderful curvature of the Earth in the background. For the full article... Read more
Sunday, 23rd November 2014

Go Beyond the Boundary Now!

Our book “Beyond the Boundary: Seeking Interstellar Destinations” has been released! The first ever book that brings the technology, science, and culture of interstellar travel all into one place! Read more
Tuesday, 23rd September 2014

Exclusive i4is offers...

We are trialling a new merchandise scheme whilst we wait for our online shop! If you didn’t get a chance to come to Loncon3 and see our stand ‘The Interstellar Space’, then we are delighted to announce that we have a few remaining limited edition ‘Con T-shirts’ for sale at £15! Navy blue, round neck, front and back illustrations and... Read more
Friday, 15th August 2014

Project Dragonfly: Sail to the Stars!

Project Dragonfly: Sail to the Stars! The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS) is aiming to launch humanity’s first – unmanned – starship by 2050. We think this is possible. For this purpose, I4IS has launched a competition to design the first real mission to the stars and we are inviting teams from universities to... Read more
Wednesday, 09th July 2014

Press Release:

The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS; i4is.org) and the International Space University (ISU; isunet.edu) have teamed up to offer students graduate projects related to all aspects of interstellar travel. Read more
Thursday, 08th May 2014

I4IS Goes Corporate

Work on I4IS started in August 2012 and we first went live on the web in September 2012. It is our ambition to become an global ‘institute’ for interstellar education, research and enterprise.  Read more
Thursday, 08th May 2014

Worldcon 2014

Members of I4IS will be participating in the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), to be held at the London ExCeL Centre, Thursday 14 to Monday 18 August 2014. It will be a special event as it is the 75th anniversary of the very first Worldcon, held in New York in 1939.  Read more
Thursday, 08th May 2014

Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop 2014

Members of I4IS will be participating in the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW) to be held 9-12 November, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States.  Read more
Thursday, 08th May 2014

I4IS Smart Phone App Now Available

The app, developed by I4IS Director Jeremy Clark, contains several calculations for educational benefit pertaining to rocket science, astrophysics and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).  Read more


The mission of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies is to foster and promote education, knowledge and technical capabilities which lead to designs, technologies or enterprise that will enable the construction and launch of interstellar spacecraft. The vision of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies is to aspire towards an optimistic future for humans on Earth and in space. Our bold vision is to be an organisation that is central to catalysing the conditions in society over the next century to enable robotic and human exploration of the frontier beyond our Solar System and to other stars, as part of a long-term enduring strategy and towards a sustainable space-based economy. 

Who We Are

We started work on the organisation in August 2012, sixty years after the first serious academic research paper to address the interstellar problem, published by Dr Les Shepherd in 1952. Since then we have been steadily developing our business model, various activities and constitutional structures. Our ambition is to create a global network of Institutes under the banner “Institute for Interstellar Studies”, although due to restrictions on UK law, the use of that name has to be demonstrated first. Hence, we are an ‘initiative’ that is seeking to become an ‘institute’. The name “…for Interstellar Studies” is in honour of the special red cover issues of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) published between 1974 and 1991.

These issues, dedicated to interstellar flight, interstellar communications and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have done more than any other activity to promote, advocate and support the interstellar vision. Indeed, the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) has been the ‘torch holders’ of the interstellar vision for much of the last half century. It can be said therefore, that I4IS is a direct spin-off from the BIS and its work to promote and advocate advancements in astronautics. 

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