Status Report on the Tau Zero Foundation

by Paul Gilster on November 19, 2010

by Marc Millis

A number of things have been happening recently with the Tau Zero Foundation, but most of them have been behind the scenes. Marc Millis, founding architect of the TZF and former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project, now goes public with his thoughts on recent activities and where the Foundation is heading.

To the fans and contributors of Tau Zero, thanks for your help and suggestions. It’s time to talk about recent progress and next-steps. One major news item is that I took an early retirement from NASA, in February 2010, so that I could devote more time to Tau Zero. As much as I tried, I could not do both. I had to make the hard choice between following NASA or leaving that full-salary day-job to make advances via the more flexible Tau Zero Foundation. Now that I’m free of prior restrictions, we are restructuring how we operate and will be eventually shifting to a “Membership” format with regular newsletters.

During the first week in November, I met with several Tau Zero practitioners to discuss various points of view on how best to make progress. Also, the Tau Zero public website has been transferred to other service providers for necessary updates to that information.

Operations and Priorities

One observation is that there are apparently misconceptions about our priorities and how we operate. In retrospect that is understandable since we have been operating, so far, on an opportunistic basis – relying on the self-initiated work of our Practitioners. Examples include; Project Icarus, FOCAL mission studies, the Living (Statistical) Drake Equation, Frontiers of Propulsion Science, publications from other practitioners, Faces From Earth, and the long-running Centauri Dreams news forum.

The time has now come to be more deliberate as we move forward. Ideally, we want to cover all the technologies and implications related to the ultimate goal of reaching other habitable worlds, and we want to do that in a manner where you can count on the accuracy of our information (which is why we include reference citations so that you can check any questionable assertions). This span includes understanding ‘what’s out there,’ examining all the options for ‘how to get there,’ and being sure to tie this all to its ‘relevance to humanity.’

One of the most hotly debated items is how best to get out there. To be explicit, Tau Zero covers the full span of options, from the seemingly simple solar sails to the seemingly impossible faster-than-light travel. For each option within that span, there are different levels of readiness and performance, and accordingly different types of work. One consistent finding – which is nonetheless contentious amongst our readership – is that there is no single “best” choice of propulsion. We have also found that individuals tend to have a favorite within that span, but our interests cover the full span. So, rather than prematurely arguing over which engine is best, we intend to give you reliable, traceable information about the status and next-steps for all those options.

So far we’ve been providing this service mostly through Paul Gilster’s Centauri Dreams news forum, and by corralling a suite of practitioners who can keep us up to date. Many of these practitioners have voluntarily begun projects to make progress on specific topics. As we move forward, we will have to solicit additional funding to better cover these possibilities. We are also considering options on how our readership – you – can influence which options get more attention.

Ongoing Projects

With that said and with the changes to come, here now is a short reflection on our progress to date. Considering that this resulted from volunteer work with only modest financial contributions (for conference travel and operating expenses), this bodes well for our future productivity.

  • PROJECT ICARUS
    Led by Kelvin Long and Richard Obousy, Project Icarus is a sequel to the renowned 1978 Project Daedalus study of the British Interplanetary Society for a fusion-based interstellar probe. This is a joint collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society. The first year of the 5-year study has commenced right on schedule and several papers were presented at the 2010 International Astronautical Congress in Prague to spread the news and get valuable feedback from the astronautical community. As this study progresses it will deliver realistic estimates for what such technology could accomplish along with estimates of what other milestones would be needed to make it happen. Examples of those intermediate steps include the business case for mining Helium-3 from the atmosphere of Uranus, and the communication network for deep space exploration. By reaching beyond near-term horizons, such work sets the stage for the next wave of advancements to follow.
  • INTERSTELLAR PRECURSOR MISSION STUDIES
    Rather than wait until interstellar probes are fully viable, much can be learned by traveling to intermediate destinations offering challenges much closer to home. This includes studying the FOCAL mission to confirm the physics and use of the gravitational lensing of our own Sun beyond 550 AU. The champion of this idea, Claudio Maccone, recently published a book called Deep Space Flight and Communications about such ambitions and also presented his progress at the 2010 International Astronautical Congress.
  • FRONTIERS OF PROPULSION SCIENCE
    Marc Millis and Eric Davis compiled and edited the assessments from 18 different lead authors to produce the first-ever scholarly book about non-propellant space drives, gravity control, and faster than light physics. Published as a technical volume within the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Frontiers of Propulsion Science is a 739 page reference that describes past approaches, critical issues, and identifies next-step research approaches. This work was also presented at the 2010 International Astronautical Congress.
  • STATISTICAL DRAKE EQUATION
    Claudio Maccone has taken the Drake Equation and advanced it to a statistical format so that the implications of its uncertainties can be understood. He recently extended this method to the Fermi Paradox, and then to estimates of the distance to the nearest potentially habitable planets (88+/- 39 light years). Papers on all of these have been presented and this work will continue to be refined.
  • FACES FROM EARTH
    Faces from Earth provides information and organizes events to educate the public about space and astronomy and to promote deep space missions, aiming to compile messages to put on board future spacecraft. The organizers hope to offer an exciting educational opportunity for students of every age: Project One Kg Message is about designing and building a time capsule of roughly 1 kg content, which could possibly fly on board a future deep space mission; the E.T. are You out there? campaigns are designed to introduce the notions of possible extraterrestial life and METI to secondary school students; Mosaic Earth builds Earth images like the famous Blue Marble, as a mosaic composition – from portraits of people participating in the project, in the belief that sending a message to E.T. is a deeply human endeavour.

Practitioner Publications

Here is a just a partial list of recent books from Tau Zero Practitioners, with more in progress:

Matloff, Johnson, and Bangs (2007) Living Off the Land in Space: Green Roads to the Cosmos. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Vulpetti, Johnson, and Matloff (2008) Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel. Springer.

Millis & Davis (eds.) (2009) Frontiers of Propulsion Science. Vol. 227 of Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Maccone (2009) Deep Space Flight and Communications: Exploiting the Sun as a Gravitational Lens. Springer Praxis.

Johnson, Matloff, and Bangs (2009) Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth. Springer.

In closing, I am pleased to share this progress with you and look forward to being able to escalate these efforts. If you want to see more progress, please consider donating:

Donate to Tau Zero, where all these activities are covered.

Donate directly to Project Icarus, if you are a fan of that work.

Donate directly to Faces from Earth.

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{ 39 comments }

Antonio November 19, 2010 at 13:52

Tra i libri segnalati nell’articolo, esiste qualcuno tradotto in lingua italiana, e che sia comprensibile anche da chi, come me, è un semplice “curioso” della scienza, e non ha una preparazione scientifica di alto livello?

Saluti da Antonio.

Paul Gilster November 19, 2010 at 14:20

Antonio writes:

Among the books reported in the article, are there any translated into Italian, and that can be understood even by those who, like me, are just “curious” about science, and have a high level of scientific training?

None of these titles has, to my knowledge, been translated into Italian yet, though as you know, Springer is a European house and this may yet happen. I’ll let you know if I hear of any translations.

(via Google Translate): Nessuno di questi titoli è, a mia conoscenza, è stato ancora tradotto in italiano, anche se come sapete, Springer è una casa europea e questo può ancora accadere. Ti farò sapere se ho sentito parlare di eventuali traduzioni.

Charles November 19, 2010 at 17:43

Some general observations:

(1) your goal is to get to a habitable planet. why? because our ancestors evolved on one, and it just feels more comfortable knowing which way is up? perhaps our descendents will be happy in other settings.

(2) could the Tau Zero Foundation devote itself to milestones along the critical path to get there? e.g., the new Human Space Flight Policy emphasizes physical sustainability, and an R&D agenda to get there, but completely ignores the other necessary condition: economic sustainability. There is a VERY interesting R&D agenda there too.

Marc G Millis November 20, 2010 at 8:02

Charles;
Good points. For example, I’ve wanted to get into the whole challenge of Colony ships too, but still have a bit of operational details to allow that to happen. Regarding the steps, well that is in there. The slogan “ad astra incrementis” (to the stars in ever increasing steps) is there on purpose. A challenge is conveying these. Projects, like Icarus, encapsulate many steps while being a larger step itself. Laying out a roadmap for the whole endeavor will still take some time and support. Regarding sustainability, I’d love to be able to make that happen. I can certainly see the value of trying to craft ideas with that in mind. Golly, yet another challenge.

Pete November 20, 2010 at 9:49

Good to see some progress, but I would submit that there ought to be some effort put into a particular project aimed at experimentation into warp drives and wormholes, since I assume that is an essential aspect to the overall vision (and now with the help of Marc and others, it might just attract more support than it would drive people away).

Roberto Flaibani November 20, 2010 at 10:00

Antonio, posso confermare che nessuno di quei librii è tradotto in italiano. Apparentemente, solo il mio pccolo blog, Il Tredicesimo Cavaliere, segue da vicino, in lingua italiana, Tau Zero e le sue idee: leggo voracemente Gilstter eho pubblicato parecchio su Maccone, Vulpetti e Icarus e molto altro pubblicherò in futuro. Contattami!

I can confirm that none of those books has been translated in Italian. Apparently, only my litttle blog , The Thirteenth Knight, folllows closely, in Italian, Tau Zero and its ideas: I read Gilster ravenously, wrote a lot about Maccone, Vulpetti and Icarus, and I intend to publish more about them in the future. Please get in touch!

Paul Gilster November 20, 2010 at 10:12

Roberto, thanks very much! Very pleased to have your support — I’m glad you’re keeping these issues in play for Italian speakers. The site is:

http://iltredicesimocavaliere.wordpress.com/

and I’ll add a link to it on the front page. The blog is excellent, and available to English speakers through Google Translate.

Marc G Millis November 20, 2010 at 11:46

What would you folks think if we set up different accounts, say for sails, precursor missions, Project Icarus, non-propellant space drives, warp drives, colony ships, societal implications, etc, so that you could influence priorities by donating to the emphasis of your choice?

Marc

Carl Keller November 20, 2010 at 12:07

International participation in this is not only desirable; it is essential. Translations with Google and others convey general ideas, but fine points are often lost.

Some have suggested a form of Esperanta which would be a “logical language”, developed to act as a unifying part of communication. Not Esperanto itself, but something which would be everyone’s second language and allow conversation with anyone. Perhaps some century we will have it. Maybe the century the United States adopts the metric system.

Carl Keller November 20, 2010 at 12:22

Hi, Charles,

The interest seems to be focused on terrestrial bodies in the Life Zones around stars. We may not want an existing biosphere to colonize; there’s the matter of how our own life interacts with indigenous exoplanet biology. Some have suggested it would be a crime to cause any level of extinction elsewhere. Even Martian microorganisms would make for many arguments.

One spectacular idea is to terraform lifeless earthlike worlds in the LZ of other stars. That, of course, means ark-sized flotillas…

Carl Keller November 20, 2010 at 14:57

Hi, Marc,

The websites I personally prefer to see are usually categorized with specific pages. In Centauri Dreams, the menu on the right is helpful, and the search function is reliable. If you are suggesting extending ‘Out There’, ‘Getting There’ and the rest on Tau Zero with new tabs, that is good.

Subcategories of these would perhaps work better. The page ‘Getting There’ would have the different tabs for fusion, sail, and so on. That would make for less clutter. I do like the ‘look’ of Tau Zero; the graphics are inviting to the eye, and appropriate. Well made!

Paul Gilster November 20, 2010 at 15:14

Carl, I think what Marc is pondering is separate financial accounts for the various categories of study, so that if, for example, someone wanted to donate to solar sail work, there would be an account expressly for that. This wouldn’t necessarily have ramifications for the Web site design, but would be about targeting donations to specific research, etc.

Carl Keller November 20, 2010 at 15:38

Thanks, Paul.

To Marc: the current concept of accounting seems all right since these efforts are in their infancy. Separate accounts may leave some promising subjects behind.

Tarmen November 20, 2010 at 20:26

Hello Carl Keller,
” indigenous exoplanet biology. Some have suggested it would be a crime to cause any level of extinction elsewhere. ”

The entire history of species on earth including our own is to colonize new and hostile or indifferent niches. We are part of that imperative to grow and evolve. It’s just nature. We ‘invaded’ Asia in 200 000 BC. And Europe in 40 000 BC. And the Americas in 20 000 BC. And many weeds and bugs have done similar. If they feel the need, our colonists will just make up laws to soothe their consciences. Maybe an indigenous life Reserves system. Our space colonies are going to be just like today’s invasive weeds colonizing a new continent. They’ll run rampant. And sometimes our colonist may not compete well. They may die off after a short time. Maybe most of our ‘seeds’ will fail in barren soil. Crime has nothing to do with it.
In my view.

David November 20, 2010 at 21:21

I like the separate accounts and I also think we need a list of very near term research .
For Instance the National Ignition Facility is important to fusion engine research. How about suggesting to DOD that fusion engine research is indeed vaible and that a facility directed to fusion engine research would be somthing they should set up on their own perhaps where it could create jobs …..today and create a posive feedback loop of public support for Interstellar research. I would suggest the Midwest as a good location.
I suggest DOD because they have the money now

Pete November 20, 2010 at 21:59

I’d say Marc is on the right track with giving potential donors more options, since it can’t be denied that with such far-ranging and speculative goals there’s bound to be diverging opinions on what should be priorities.

Regarding FTL drives (warp drives and wormholes), other than what is suggested in the three chapters in the Frontiers book (and I must say it is quite a book and is worth every penny- congratulations to Marc, Eric, Paul and everyone else on your effort- it now has it’s place on my bedside table) it seems as though the TZF lacks a detailed plan for pursuing that research. It is important that such a plan exists, from the perspective of myself and other potential donors who have a hard time accepting the practicality of interstellar missions that are subluminal (in the Alcubierre space-time sense, of course), even if they be unmanned probes.

I just can’t imagine how it would be ultimately practical to transport objects or people at such ridiculous speeds over such long durations, especially when you consider the increasing power of telescopes (not to mention the ‘obsolescence postulate’) which could make such missions, even if successful, rather redundant.

At any rate, we’ve been through this debate many times before; rather than return to it I’d just like to make the point that for myself and those who may share my point of view, there lacks a cause to donate anything to. I suspect that NASA had this view also when they decided to fund the BPP- that without some fundamental breakthroughs, we may be stuck in this solar system.

Marc G Millis November 21, 2010 at 11:03

Pete;
First, thanks for the huge compliments about the Frontiers book. Regarding your statement: “…it seems as though the TZF lacks a detailed plan for pursuing that [warp drive] research.” – I agree. One of the actions during our recent Austin meeting was to designate who will be in charge of that, specifically Eric Davis. The second thing to mention is that I recently compiled a list of next-step research priorities for the undiscovered propulsion physics areas in general, which I presented at the IAC. I’m not sure yet which venue to publish that paper, so not sure when it will be public. Dealing with such publication review and disclosure timings is yet another operational detail to work through. I’d really like to expose those now in some form, but can’t really if it is under review for a certain publication.

kurt9 November 21, 2010 at 15:13

We may not want an existing biosphere to colonize; there’s the matter of how our own life interacts with indigenous exoplanet biology. Some have suggested it would be a crime to cause any level of extinction elsewhere.

I think alien complex life could have micro-organisms that are toxic to humans and other Earth species. I have never accepted the notion that alien life would be “too different” to be an infectious threat to us. Alien flora and fauna would most certainly be inedible to humans.

More likely, we will find Earth-sized planets in their LZ’s and they will have nothing more than simple bacteria on them. Hopefully the bacteria made enough Oxygen to make a breathable atmosphere. Then we can move right on in.

kurt9 November 21, 2010 at 15:14

Perhaps a paperback version of the “Frontiers” book can be published for sale at a lower price.

Antonio November 21, 2010 at 17:49

Ho letto, tra i commenti di questo articolo, che Roberto Flaibani mi vuol contattare, ma sul suo “blog” non c’è traccia di un indirizzo di posta elettronica a cui far riferimento: come posso contattarlo? Comunque, complimenti per il suo “blog” scientifico!
Siamo molto lontani( ho visto sul suo sito che vive a Roma, io abito in una città, non lontano dal confine con il Canton Ticino)comunque, qualche scambio di notizie scientifiche e di opinioni, si può fare…

Saluti da Antonio.

Paul Gilster November 21, 2010 at 19:04

Antonio’s comment re Google Translate:

“I have read, including comments on this article, about contacting Robert Flaibani, but on his “blog” there is no trace of an e-mail address to which to refer, how can I contact him? Anyway, congratulations for his scientific “blog”!
We are very far away (I saw on his website that he lives in Rome, I live in a city, not far from the border with Canton Ticino), however, some exchange of scientific news and views can definitely be done.”

Antonio, I’ll send you Roberto’s address by backchannel email.

Marc G Millis November 21, 2010 at 22:14

About the debate about the ethics of colonizing another world – such debate needs to be aired. Although the primate in me would not give a second thought to moving in on others’ territory, my intellect knows that there are more options than mere instinctual reflexes – options that ‘might’ lead to greater value. Such debates are easier to provoke and flesh out by actually aiming for reaching those other worlds.

Frank November 22, 2010 at 16:02

Marc, Carl, Paul,

The idea of separate accounts for different projects will likely prompt some to contribute who may not want their money “wasted” on “ridiculous” projects.
Add to this idea a general account that is used for various projects at the discretion of the administrators should satisfy all.

Paul Gilster November 22, 2010 at 16:55

I’m also warming to the idea, Frank, because those of us who lean toward more ‘near-term’ prospects like solar sails could be specific about our research interests, while the truly theoretical and highly futuristic concepts could have their own niche of support. So I think it’s a good way to address the spectrum of ideas TZF was created to deal with.

Greg November 22, 2010 at 22:26

Marc,

Can I make a suggestion, there’s a site called Kickstarter.
http://www.kickstarter.com/

Something like this could be relevant to what you want to do.

Ric Capucho November 23, 2010 at 9:22

Just a thought – you wouldn’t be thinking of doing anything as ill-considered as changing the format, frequency and quality of this Blog, would you?

Paul Gilster November 23, 2010 at 9:47

Ric, what a nice thing to say. Thanks! And don’t worry — Centauri Dreams is a labor of love for me and I intend to keep publishing it just as it is.

Paul Titze November 23, 2010 at 18:43

Marc G Millis wrote:

“The second thing to mention is that I recently compiled a list of next-step research priorities for the undiscovered propulsion physics areas in general, which I presented at the IAC. I’m not sure yet which venue to publish that paper, so not sure when it will be public.”

Hi Marc,

Can you upload your paper to the open e-Print archive: http://viXra.org/
so all the readers here can read it? Or maybe in the TZF website?
The problem with arXiv.org is that it is more restricitive on what papers they allow on their server. I’ve requested in the past they create a section for Breakthrough Propulsion Physics however the process isn’t straightforward (needs lots of people to put in requests) whereas viXra is free and is open to anyone. I’d like to emphasive _free_ because not everyone reading these pages have a university affiliation which gives them free access to other papers which are accessible from fee based publishers.

Anyway thanks Marc (and Paul) for keeping up the good work.

Cheers, Paul.

JohnHunt November 24, 2010 at 1:54

I’m probably the one who has voiced more concerns with TZF than anyone else (combined?). I’d like to say that many of my concerns have not only been truly listened to but seems to have been addressed. For this I am grateful.

Recently Kelvin Long and I have been in an e-mail exchange. It made a great deal of difference to me when he pointed out that a main function of Project Icarus is to assemble a top-notch team to work on an interstellar mission plan. When completed, that team would be in place to potentially consider other interstellar concepts. Project Icarus isn’t just a rehash of a single interstellar approach but rather, hopefully, the birth of an experte field in interstellar studies. This is exactly what we need to advance this field.

JohnHunt November 24, 2010 at 3:33

Let me just list several of my concerns which I feel are now being addressed.
1) Project Icarus is only temporarily confining expertise to one idea. By doing so, it will make that expertise available for other concepts.
2) By introducing a membership model for TZF, those of us who would like to get involved in advancing one or more concepts will now have a way do doing so beyond the informal setting of blog comments.
3) There does seem to be a committment to exploring concepts beyond exotic physics or a huge fusion ship.
4) Finally, there does now appear to be increasing transparency. How and why interstellar projects are chosen should allow for broad input and early explanation.

As I see it now, there is this very interesting question of how we address and advance the multitude of interstellar concepts. I’m with most others in I think that all concepts should be listed. I would hope that anyone could help develop the concept and that this work would be accessible at one place (e.g. the TZF website) so as to make easy comparisons between the concepts.

But there’s different dimensions. e.g. propulsion methods, scientific vs manned, sized (e.g. nano to worldships), motivations, etc. Despite the rather large differences between potential missions, should we treat them all as exactly equal? How should we decide which to focus expertise on?

I would like to suggest that there be a type of Technology Readiness Level assessment. Certain technologies (e.g. world ships and Warp Drive to name just a couple) are likely so far from feasibility for an actual interstellar mission that putting significant work on these concepts might be a waste if the actual first interstellar mission is something else.

Kareem Elashmawy November 24, 2010 at 10:01

It’s nice to see progress being made. I like the idea of separate accounts for the same reasons as Frank as well as the membership format however I have a host of questions regarding the membership format.

Where will the membership be hosted and how?
Will membership include subdivisions for undergraduates, donors, researchers, etc?
Will membership be free or have a fee? If there is a fee, will it be a one time basis or recurring?

With regards to the “Ethics of Colonizing Another World” debate as Marc dubbed it, I noticed that no-one has mentioned the scientific benefits to colonizing a habitable planet over an uninhabitable planet. A habitable planet would have a much higher chance of having a similar gravitational pull and surface temperature than an uninhabitable planet within the goldilocks zone. This also means that if the planet hosts any kind of life, then that planet would host a great deal of research opportunities for biologists and geologists in general. (geologists for the minerals created due to the existence of said life). Such an expansion of research opportunities would also increase the number of funding opportunities drastically.

kelvin November 26, 2010 at 5:28

John, I agree with you interpretation of our conversations. Project Icarus is about developing designer capability more than anything. Outside of Icarus (a fusion powered vehicle) I am also involved in a solar sail project relating to an ESA Cosmic Vision study. Last night I was working through beam driven sail calculations. A few months ago I was calculating problems for a generation ship. All illustrates that although I have my own personal views about the best way forward (internal/external nuclear pulse) I am am very interested in all other methods. I think that as a community we need to take interest in developing all the propulsion methods simulataneously, yes some at different levels than others, depending on interest and TRL. And the TRLs are the key to moving forward. I wrote a JBIS paper two years ago looking at different propulsion options and this included my own preliminary TRL assessent – my views have since changed as I learn more about this wonderful but difficult field.
TZF is definitely interested in all propulsion schemes, from solar sail to fusion to laser beaming to FTL – this is what makes it so interest.
I go on record as saying that I believe the first interstellar mission will actually not be a single method but a combination of methods, maximising on the efficiency and optimising where we can.
Kelvin

Paul Knabenshue December 3, 2010 at 16:38

Paul,

As I understand it, the Foundation’s membership is composed primarily of individuals who have either strong academic credentials or are accomplished authors or researchers in a particular field relevant to the organization. In order to boost revenue and possibly outreach, have you considered a more ‘General Membership’ category where interested parties could join the foundation as dues-paying members? I am thinking of an example similar to The Planetary Society, of which I am a member. This could be an opportunity to boost revenue as well as create a base of membership for future contributions and other support.

Paul Knabenshue

Paul Gilster December 3, 2010 at 17:12

Paul, thanks for your comment. The answer is yes, we’re actively planning for a general membership phase which we hope to bring online within the next year or so. This is very much in the works and I’ll keep the readership posted.

Larry December 12, 2010 at 8:25

I want to donate to the development of Extended Heim Theory ‘anti-grav and hyperspace’ drive. How do I do it?
BTW… I don’t want to buy a book.

Paul Gilster December 12, 2010 at 14:28

Larry, your other message mentioned alternative places to contribute to re these ideas. Who to donate to is your call. What I would do is consider whether you think the work TZF is doing is useful and whether you want to support it. Do note this: We do not have a specific section set up around any version of Heim theory — our Frontiers of Propulsion Science book deals with these theories only briefly, considering how undeveloped they are. If you are hoping to donate money for immediate work on Heim theory, we are definitely not the place.

A donation to us would filter through to all our projects at present. Marc Millis is speculating about setting up specific areas for other interests, but for the time being the ones that are set up are listed in the above article, and include Project Icarus and Faces from Earth. As other options become available, I’ll be posting them here.

Marc G Millis December 12, 2010 at 15:19

Larry;
I echo what Paul Gilster said, but I also want to understand what you are really interested in. What specifically to you want to support; only the Heim theory, or the more general quest to discover gravity control space drives, or interstellar flight in general?
I appreciate the difficulty in sorting out which approaches make genuine progress and which are just hype, and then after that, picking the best people to make progress. The tactic I use is to look at how well the people do their work, rather than pre-guessing feasibility. Regardless of feasibility, the best folks will make trust-worthy progress. On the other hand, the folks that are better at hype than progress tend to echo the same story over and over, with no real progress in the details. I was hoping the details in the book would help shed light on that situation, but also understand if those messages are too difficult for all audiences to read.
Again, what is it that you really want to support? I can then point you accordingly. Also, at what level do you want to support this? The amount of donation affects the kind of work that could be supported, from surveys, theoretical progress, experimental tests, etc.
- Marc

Larry December 12, 2010 at 18:11

Marc,

The donation amount would be a miniscule $100 to $300 per year – all I can afford. Directed to anti-gravity and F-T-L drive development. Probably by way of spinning a strong magnetic vortex field, to act upon zero-point field or the closed extra quantum dimensions. Extended Heim Theory provides both anti-gravity and F-T-L through hyperspace, by reducing and eliminating ship mass – using a strong magnetic field to open the extra dimensions. I think it’s like the military’s TR-3B triangle ship method.

I rule out warp drive and wormholes because they would require too much energy to produce.

Marc G Millis December 12, 2010 at 20:38

Larry,
From what you said, it sounds like you are being mislead by some non-credible information about how easily such things might be achieved. Beware of websites that make big claims without disclosing who they are and without showing their track-record of progress. If they are genuine, their products and publications will be reliable and verifiable. There are a lot of bogus claims our there – be careful out there.
Some of what we at Tau Zero have done, and plan to continue, is research toward the undiscovered physics of manipulating gravity and FTL travel, but these topics are at very early stages. The “Frontiers” book documents that to assist researchers to make next-step progress. It will take time and methodical research to move from where we are today toward experimental tests – and then even more to convert successful tests into vehicle designs.
While I’d gladly accept donations targeted toward such goals, I don’t think we can deliver the amount of progress you are hoping for at the level you can afford. What I can guarantee is that our findings will be as reliable as humanly possible – telling it like it really is.
- Marc

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