The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) is a limited by guarantee company, not having a share capital, incorporated in the United Kingdom, which makes us an effective non-for-profit organisation. Our global brand name is actually Institute for Interstellar Studies, but due to UK law the right to use this name has to be earned, and so we are an initiative to become an institute.
Our long term ambition is to enable both robotic and human exploration and colonisation of the nearby stars. However, we have to start with a plan, the builds from incremental steps year on year and takes us in the right direction and with growth as a key. With this in mind the following is the strategic goals of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies, for which our teams are working towards. This is an abbreviated version for public information.
Strategic Goal 1:
Establish a financially sustainable and internationally recognised Institute for Interstellar Studies.
Strategic Goal 2:
Promote the benefits and advocate for our vision of interstellar flight.
Strategic Goal 3:
Establish an enduring foundation to support a broad scope of interstellar focussed activities of the institute.
Strategic Goal 4:
Conduct activities to expand the institutes projects and programs globally so as to create collaborative partnerships.
Strategic Goal 5:
Participate in research and development to advance capabilities for deep space precursor and interstellar missions this century.
The Company’s Objects are:
- To advance the ambition of interstellar flight through various educational, research and entrepreneurial based activities;
- 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;
- To aspire towards an optimistic future for humans on Earth and in space; and
- 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.
During the spring 2014 the team went through an exercise to put into writing the spirit of our intention. This was captured in a founding declaration document. This is not a legally binding document, but more of a reminder to the future generations of the organisations what the original intentions were by the founders. The full text of this declaration is shown below.
TIME FOR THE STARS: FOUNDING DECLARATION OF THE INITIATIVE FOR INTERSTELLAR STUDIES
We, the founders of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies
(1) Accept our mission 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.
(2) Will work towards our vision, 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.
(3) Are of diverse cultures and creeds, but through our individual differences comes a strength that unites us under our common goal, a shared belief that humankind’s future trajectory lies out amongst the stars. We will not look only outwards, we will not forget Earth; through our efforts to try and create a better future for our species we will seek to preserve and protect our planet, to respect life and personal liberty, and to encourage each and every one of us to strive to become something better, enriching the lives of not only everyone on our pale blue dot, but also the lives of those with the courage to take our first steps into the unknown.
(4) Will strive towards creating a better future, one in which society has progressed technologically, politically, economically and culturally to be ready to take our first giant step to the stars within the next century and, in the process, we will seek to learn more about ourselves and about life, wherever we may find it.
(5) Welcome the challenge ahead and commit to this enterprise with positive energy, optimistic enthusiasm, happiness and liberty, but also humble in remembrance and respect for how far our species has come and how far we can yet go.
(6) Recognise that together we are stronger and that only through mutual respect and cooperation will we triumph in the face of adversity. Our cultural differences, our varied outlooks, are our strength; from diversity we will work towards harmony, armed with the tools of kindness, understanding and compassion. We will not only respect philosophical differences, we will seek to learn from them, implementing our learned knowledge with integrity, due care and honesty. From our unity of will shall come a strength that we as individuals can draw from, remembering that every person is unique and special and that everyone has within them the power to positively change the world and the course of human history.
(7) Acknowledge that as we seek to emerge the idea of Building Starships within our times, from our imagination to reality, we also shall seek to raise ourselves up to a nobler and wiser people, outward looking and embracing of the journeys ahead and the experiences yet to be fulfilled.
(8) Will never forget that the systems, methods and technologies that we develop in our pursuit of space can also be used to benefit life here on Earth. We will endeavour to find ways that these can be used to fundamentally improve the human condition and our environment in a sustainable way.
(9) Will trust in the principles of reason, rational thought, good judgement and objectivity as we explore the path ahead of us with knowledge to the stars, yet never eschewing our spirit nor our emotional humanity and never forgetting where we came from, who we are, what we want and where we are going.
(10) Believe in our hearts that the exploration of space is of vital importance to the future of humankind and that to fulfil our species’ potential, interstellar travel must be our aim as the ultimate purpose of the grand astronautical endeavour. We have assembled together to go on a journey, one that will ultimately take ourselves or future heirs to the stars. We invite everyone to accompany us on this journey, to show courage and vision and bold initiative on behalf of our species to the betterment of all, and to uphold our fundamental tenets.
We commit ourselves to these words as signatories, devoting ourselves to this bold and enriching endeavour. This is the unanimous declaration of the founding members of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies.
Declared on 28th May 2014
About our Logo
The logo for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies was designed jointly by Kelvin F. Long and Adrian Mann during the summer 2012, with input from George Abbey Junior, Rob Swinney, Richard Osborne, Stephen Ashworth, Gemma Long and Jonathan Brooks.
HMS Challenger was a peaceful scientific expedition that set out in 1872, on a voyage around the world, making many discoveries along the way. Can we build ships which also venture to explore the ocean of knowledge before us, and so cross the technological horizon, and build similar vessels which cross the sea of Suns – Starships. Once this technological barrier is reached, our trajectory to the stars is guaranteed, and the star at the top of the logo represents the stretch goal that ‘interstellar flight’ provides to develop the technologies and capabilities to explore interplanetary space, interstellar space and the voids in between. The International Space Station is a crowning achievement in our exploration of space. It is the first great modern wonder of space made by human hands, and is an example of what can be accomplished when peaceful co-operation between nations is embraced with scientific discovery as the driver. Pegasus is a constellation of the stars, with 51 Pegasi being indicated as the first exosolar planet to be discovered orbiting another Sun-like star, some fifty light years away. Pegasus is also the name of the Greek mythological winged horse, an artefact of our imagination. Starships too, are considered pure fantasy by many, but Pegasus symbolises our quest to turn imagination into reality and make Starships come to life. Pegasus is also a creature like none we have ever observed, which reminds us that as we explore space, we are likely to encounter life forms, some perhaps intelligent, which surprise us in their construction, evolved from within an alien atmosphere and habitat. Another way to view the logo is that it represents the four key sides of the interstellar square. Firstly, the need to develop the science and the technology, symbolised by the atom, with the motto “Scientia ad sidera” or “Knowledge to the stars” being the key cultural value underpinning the mission. Second, the motivation for discovery and the political and cultural courage to embrace the exploration opportunities within our grasp, symbolised by the ship. Third, the need to develop the appropriate capabilities and infrastructure to support such missions, symbolised by the ISS. Forth, the need to have a destination to go to, symbolised by the constellation of Pegasus. Finally, the ship can be viewed as our quest to explore Earth (our past), the ISS as our quest to explore interplanetary space (our present) and the constellation as our question to explore interstellar space (our future) and ultimately evolve to an interstellar civilization.