by Marc Millis
Centauri Dreams is pleased to report again on the status of the Tau Zero Foundation. Founded by Marc Millis, former head of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, the Foundation’s goal is to support credible research into interstellar flight, with a realistic understanding that incremental progress toward this goal can only be made through persistent, long-term effort. Here Millis describes the current state of affairs, and discusses the necessary next steps for the young Foundation.
For those awaiting the debut of the Tau Zero Foundation, I thought I would take this time to let you know how it will be implemented. The first stage, setting up the basic operation and a pool of expert practitioners, is already happening. From the combined work of our practitioners we will debut a public website that explains the status of this work and the next practical steps to be taken toward interstellar flight. At that same time will be ready to accept general memberships.
Once the public website has become established and member donations grow, the means to invite research proposals over the Internet will be developed. Any solicitations, however, will be contingent upon the third stage – of having obtained sufficient philanthropic donations to support a suite of research tasks.
Meanwhile, the network of Foundation practitioners will continue its own work toward practical interstellar flight and through its progress and collaborations, the content on the public website will become more refined and up-to-date. One goal is to explain, in general public terms, the why, how, who and when of real interstellar flight.
Another goal is to identify, for students and other budding researchers, the next-step unknowns in need of solution. It is hoped that, by providing such information from reliable, visionary sources, students will have the tools to begin legitimate inquires on their own. As things progress, we would be pleased to hear from students how we could better serve their learning needs.
Your patience is appreciated. This will be a long term endeavor for the greater good of humanity.
For the time being, the Tau Zero Foundation will not be able to review any submissions. Even when the website is online, there will be strict submission requirements. If, after the public website has debuted, you find any errors or missing relevant information, please bring that to our attention. Such information will have to be traceable to work already published in the peer-reviewed literature. Other websites, conference papers, or personal theories are not suitable submissions.
Background information and previous postings about the Tau Zero Foundation are available on Centauri Dreams. We look forward to embarking on this enterprise and will keep you informed on the Foundation’s progress every step of the way.