EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 UTC, FRIDAY 7 DECEMBER 2018
SPACE ENTHUSIASTS INVITED TO JOIN I4IS FOR A JOURNEY TO THE STARS!
The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) has today (7 December) taken another exciting step on its mission to promote robotic and human exploration and colonisation beyond the solar system, by launching a membership scheme intended to build an active community of space enthusiasts whose sights are set firmly on the stars.
Less than a month after scientist found a potentially habitable Earth-like planet orbiting Barnard’s Star, our second nearest solar system, and with recent Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Interstellar’ and ‘Passengers’ bringing exciting but realistic depictions of interstellar travel to the public, i4is is looking to build a worldwide community of members who support our aim of driving activities that help humanity to take our first steps beyond the solar system and out to the nearest stars.
I4is is a relatively young organisation which was set up in 2012 but has already created a lot of excitement. It is the only interstellar advocacy organisation worldwide to have its own headquarters, which has already been visited by such illustrious space leaders as Colonel Al Worden, the Command Module Pilot for the Apollo 15 lunar mission in July 1971, one of only twenty-four human beings to have journeyed to the Moon and back.
Other recent visitors include Pete Worden, the Executive Director of the $100 million Breakthrough Starshot programme, and Professor Carl Murray, a member of the imaging team on the recent Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn.
Our main programmes of activity are:
- Technical – the i4is Technical Research Committee conducts theoretical and experimental research and development across a broad spectrum of issues relating to interstellar studies.
- Education – the i4is Educational Academy supports interstellar education and research from secondary/high school level through to university (notably, the Master’s programme at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France). We have also developed a series of Starship Engineer courses, including this year’s summer school.
Highlights of our work include:
- Project Lyra: a feasibility study for a mission to the interstellar object, 1I/’Oumuamua.
- Design studies for laser-propelled interstellar probes, including:
- Project Glowworm – a near-term project for a CubeSat spacecraft mission to demonstrate the world’s first laser sail in space;
- Project Andromeda – a design study for a gram-scale interstellar probe to be sent to the nearest stars at one-tenth light speed, using current or near-future technology;
- Project Dragonfly – a feasibility study for an interstellar mission, conducted by small, distributed spacecraft propelled primarily by laser sails; and
- Ongoing engagement with Breakthrough Starshot.
- Multiple academic papers published and presented – most recently at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany in October 2018.
Membership of i4is costs £50 per year, but there is a 20% discount for members of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS), and an 80% discount for those over 65 and for students in full-time education, who pay only £10 per year. Membership benefits include:
- access to member exclusive posts, videos and advice;
- free or discounted pricing for selected i4is publications, merchandise and events;
- advanced booking for special events at our HQ; and
- opportunities to contribute directly to our work.
Dr Andreas Hein, Executive Director of i4is, said, ‘I4is has achieved much in its short history, and we have ambitious plans for the future of interstellar exploration. But those plans require resources – of people, time and money. If you are enthusiastic about our mission, please join us. Together, we can plot a route to a future amongst the stars – and start to take the first practical steps on that long journey.’
Notes for Editors:
- Full details of the i4is membership scheme can be found on our website at www.i4is.org/membership .
- The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) was founded in 2012 and incorporated in the UK and, as the Institute for Interstellar Studies, in the USA in 2014. It is a worldwide organisation with a strong presence in Europe and connections beyond its two foundation nations in many other countries.
- The i4is headquarters building is a nineteenth century mill building located in South Gloucestershire in the southwest of England. It includes a library, an exhibition of space memorabilia, and access to an adjoining lecture theatre where regular talks are held.
- Our quarterly magazine, Principium, is sent to recipients worldwide, including many prominent workers in interstellar studies as well as interested lay people.
- Dr Andreas Hein (Executive Director and Technical lead) and Rob Swinney (Deputy Director and Education lead), are both available for interview. Biographies and photographs for both are available at www.i4is.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors .
- Contact points:
- Dr Andreas Hein, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 680 350667
- Rob Swinney, email@example.com, +44 7920 281957
- John Davies, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7736 798802
Web: i4is.org; Twitter: @i4interstellar; Facebook: @InterstellarInstitute; Linked In: Initiative for Interstellar Studies
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