Tau Zero Foundation founder Marc Millis has been anything but idle this spring. The good news, which I am finally able to share, is that he and a team of scientists have been compiling a book that is truly a first of its kind. Frontiers of Propulsion Science is a collection of essays about where we are today and where we are going with propulsion research.

This book is the work of many hands, and if you’ll peruse the list, you’ll see it contains some of the major names in this field. Many of them, I am pleased to say, are Tau Zero practitioners (for background on what a ‘practitioner’ of TZF is, see this background document on the Foundation).

Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the book is intended for aerospace engineering and science audiences, with a goal of describing current research and offering pointers for following up these issues. And while this will be an expensive text, designed for a graduate school and above reading level, it is the intention of the Tau Zero Foundation to create a companion volume oriented to broader audiences that will aim to explain advanced propulsion for the layman.

Here is a list of authors and their papers (some titles may change):

  • Foreword
    Burt Rutan, Scaled Composites, LLC, Mojave, CA
  • Preface
    Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH
  • A Recent History of Breakthrough Propulsion Studies
    Paul Gilster, Centauri Dreams, Raleigh, NC
  • Limits of Interstellar Flight Technology
    Robert H. Frisbee, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, Pasadena CA
  • Prerequisites For Space Drive Science
    Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH
  • Review of Gravity Control within Newtonian and General Relativity Physics
    Eric W. Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, TX
  • Gravitational Experiments with Superconductors: History and Lessons
    George D. Hathaway, Hathaway Consulting, Toronto, Canada
  • Nonviable Mechanical ‘Antigravity’ Devices
    Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH
  • Null Findings of Yamishita Electrogravitational Patent
    Kenneth E. Siegenthaler and Timothy Lawrence, US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs CO
  • Force Characterization of Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters in Air
    William M. Miller, Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque NM
    Paul B. Miller, East Mountain Charter High School, Sandia Park, NM and
    Timothy J. Drummond, Sandia National Lab, Albuquerque NM
  • Experimental Findings of Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters For Various Gasses and Pressures
    Francis X. Canning, Simply Sparse Technologies, Morgantown WV
  • Propulsive Implications of Photon Momentum in Media
    Michael R. LaPointe, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville AL
  • Experimental Results of the Woodward Effect on a µN Thrust Balance
    Nembo Buldrini, ARC Seibersdorf Research, Seibersdorf, Austria
  • Thrusting Against the Quantum Vacuum
    Jordan Maclay, Quantum Fields LLC, Richland Center WI
  • Inertial Mass From Stochastic Electro-Dynamics (SED)
    Jean-Luc Cambier, US Air Force Research Labs, Edwards AFB, CA
  • Relativistic Limits of Spaceflight
    Brice Cassenti, Rensselaer, Hartford CT
  • Faster-Than-Light Approaches in General Relativity
    Eric W. Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, TX
  • Faster-Than-Light Implications of Quantum Entanglement and Nonlocality
    John Cramer, University of Washington, Seattle WA
  • Comparative Space Power Baselines
    Gary L. Bennett, Metaspace Enterprises, Emmett, ID
  • On Extracting Energy from the Quantum Vacuum
    Eric W. Davis and H. E. Puthoff, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, TX
  • Investigating Sonoluminescence as a Means of Energy Harvesting
    John D. Wrbanek, Gustave Fralick, Susan Wrbanek, and Nancy Hall, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland
  • Null Tests of ‘Free-Energy’ Claims
    Scott R. Little, EarthTech International, Austin TX
  • General Relativity Computational Tools and Conventions for Propulsion
    Claudio Maccone, International Academy of Astronautics, Italy
  • Prioritizing Pioneering Research
    Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH

The current schedule calls for the AIAA volume to appear late in 2008 (we are about to enter the page proof process now). I am unaware of any other text quite like this, aimed explicitly at the concepts that could take us to the stars using the kind of breakthroughs in physics we are all interested in studying and following up where they seem promising. As a leading indicator of the now coalescing field of interstellar studies, Frontiers of Propulsion Science should break useful ground indeed.