Talk Series: Boldly going where no-one has gone before: Interstellar Starships in Science Fiction
Date: 1st December 2020
Time: 8pm UTC (London time)
Presenter: Patrick Mahon
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The space race may have begun for real with Sputnik-1 in 1957, but the idea of travelling beyond our own solar system to the distant stars had been explored in science fiction much earlier than this – for example, in EE 'Doc' Smith's novel 'The Skylark of Space', first serialised in 1928. Perhaps the most well-known example of an interstellar starship is the USS Enterprise, as featured in the 1960s TV series 'Star Trek' and many later spin-offs. But there have been hundreds of other examples dreamed up by science fiction writers for books, films and TV series.
How realistic are these fictional interstellar starship designs? If we built one, would it work? By focusing in on six specific examples, including the ships featured in the recent Hollywood blockbusters 'Passengers' and 'Interstellar', Patrick will consider what they have got right and wrong, and explore some of the key challenges that will have to be overcome before we can send humans to even the nearest stars. If you've ever read or watched a story about travelling to the stars and thought 'I'd like to do that', here's your chance to find out how.
About the speaker
Patrick Mahon is a member of the Board of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies, as well as Deputy Editor of i4is's quarterly magazine Principium. His first degree was in Mathematics and Physics, and he also has a Master's degree in Environmental Policy. Patrick works for a UK sustainability charity as a policy wonk. In his spare time he volunteers with i4is, helps run his local writing group and writes science fiction. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and a life-long space nerd. writes science fiction. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.
About the series
The i4is Education Team are running a series of online talks for i4is members. The talks are based on the various modules we have provided for the ISU recently. The main reason for holding these talks is to give the i4is members another benefit for their support. We also see this talk series as being beneficial to our i4is colleagues and research collaborators by giving them the opportunity to present to an interested group, topics that intrigue them. We hope that you will join us.