Culture and Society

Gravity, Impartiality & the Media

March 23, 2016

Marc Millis is once again in the media, this time interviewed by a BBC crew in a show about controlling gravity. The impetus is an undertaking I described in the first chapter of Frontiers of Propulsion Science, Project Greenglow. The former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project and founding architect of the Tau Zero […]

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TVIW 2016: Homo Stellaris Working Track

March 22, 2016

Herewith the first of several reports on the recent Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop; more next week. It comes from Doug Loss, who was a participant in the Homo Stellaris working track I had hoped to attend before illness changed my plans. An experienced network and IT security administrator, Doug attended and eventually organized The Asimov […]

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Making Centauri Dreams Reality, Virtually

March 18, 2016

I often think about virtual reality and the prospect of immersive experience of distant worlds using data returned by our probes. But what of the state of virtual reality today, a technology that is suddenly the talk of the computer world with the imminent release of the Oculus Rift device? Frank Taylor is just the […]

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StarSearch: Our Hunt for a New Home World

March 14, 2016

His interest fired by an interview with interstellar researcher Greg Matloff, Dale Tarnowieski became fascinated with the human future in deep space. One result is the piece that follows, an essay that feeds directly into a recent wish of mine. I had been struck by how many people coming to Centauri Dreams are doing so […]

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Agriculture on Other Worlds

March 11, 2016

Because Centauri Dreams focuses on the outer system and beyond, I haven’t had much to say about Mars, knowing how many good sites there are that cover developments there. But today’s post is timely not only because of recent depictions of Mars in film but also because long-term sustainability is critical to a lasting human […]

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A Future We Can Choose

February 10, 2016

The very small may lead us to the very large. Payload sizes, for one thing, can be shrunk as we increasingly master the art of miniaturization, giving us far more bang for the buck. In that sense, we can think about tiny interstellar probes that may one day be sent, as Robert Freitas has envisioned, […]

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Starship Thinking

January 29, 2016

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Ian Crawford (Birkbeck College, London) — I think we last talked at one of the 100 Year Starship events — but I’m pleased to see his latest popular essay How to build a starship – and why we should start thinking about it now. A professor of planetary sciences […]

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In Search of the First Rocket Man

January 27, 2016

If you’re interested enough in space to be reading this site, you’ve probably run into the name of Wan Hu. He’s the subject of a tale that may well be spurious, but it’s certainly lively. It seems that some time around the year 1500 AD, Wan Hu took his fascination with rocketry to the logical […]

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‘A City Near Centaurus’

January 4, 2016

Let’s start the year off with a reflection on things past. Specifically, a story called “A City Near Centaurus,” set on a planet circling one of the Alpha Centauri stars. Just which star is problematic, because our author, Bill Doede, describes it as a planet circling ‘Alpha Centaurus II.’ I’m sure he means Centauri B, […]

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Can Social Insects Have a Civilization?

December 31, 2015

I first encountered Michael Chorost in his fine book World Wide Mind (Free Press, 2011), which looks at the relationship between biology and the machine tools that can enhance it. Mike’s thinking on SETI has already produced rich discussion in these pages (see, for example, SETI: Contact and Enigma). In today’s essay, he’s asking for […]

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