Harold “Sonny” White’s investigations into controversial concepts like EMdrive and Alcubierre warp drive physics at Eagleworks Laboratories (located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston) received a good deal of attention in the interstellar community. In a recent email, Dr. White told me that he left NASA in December of 2019 and is now affiliated with the Limitless Space Institute, serving as its Director of Advanced Research and Development. The recently launched LSI is creating a series of initiative grants in support of interstellar research. What follows is the news release LSI has just released.
Limitless Space Institute announces biennial Interstellar Initiative Grants (I2 Grants)
Limitless Space Institute is launching biennial research grants with the goal of providing measurable and consistent support for pursuing interstellar research called Interstellar Initiative Grants. This call for proposals is seeking to support grants that can be categorized as either a tactical grant (≤$100k) or a strategic grant (≤$250k), with the former focused on research papers and the latter on laboratory testing. The anticipated period of performance for the grants is expected to be ~12-14 months in duration, with a start date by the end of September 2020. It is LSI’s vision that by establishing the Interstellar Initiative Grants, and by conducting these grant awards on a biennial cycle, LSI will help grow and mature the capabilities of the interstellar research community. For more information, see https://www.limitlessspace.org/
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Limitless Space Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and educate the next generation to travel beyond our solar system and to research and develop enabling technologies. LSI advances the pursuit of relevant deep space exploration R&D through the following three approaches:
• Internal R&D: pursuing in-house basic research at the Eagleworks Laboratories near Johnson Space Center.
• External R&D: directly funding selected R&D projects through I2 Grants.
• Collaborative R&D: advancing research in collaboration with university partners.
LSI was founded by Dr. Kam Ghaffarian, previously founder of the award-winning contractor Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies and recognized by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year. LSI’s president is Brian “BK” Kelly, who served with NASA for 37 years, most recently as Director of Flight Operations, responsible for selecting astronauts and planning and implementing human spaceflight missions. Dr. Harold “Sonny” White leads LSI’s Advanced R&D, bringing decades of research experience in the advanced power and propulsion domain, most recently serving as the NASA Johnson Space Center Engineering Directorate’s Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead.
Image: A Bussard ramjet in flight, as imagined for ESA’s Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction project. Credit: ESA/Manchu.