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Limitless Space Institute Establishing Research Grants

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/

Email Contact: jan@limitlessspace.org

About LSI

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.

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Christian G May 5, 2020, 18:55

    You’ve got a reference to “Limitless Propulsion Institute” in the first paragraph. It that a typo, or….?

    • Paul Gilster May 5, 2020, 20:46

      Thanks for catching that! A typo indeed; I just corrected it in the text.

  • James Jason Wentworth May 6, 2020, 0:37

    While I think it’s a good idea, one caveat–from a Grand Master science fiction author–should be kept in mind (in connection with the ESA Bussard ramjet illustration for ESA’s Innovative Technologies from Science Fiction project):

    Arthur C. Clarke pointed out that taken as a whole, science fiction is a poor predictor of future inventions, and that many of its so-called predicted inventions already existed, if in crude form (working submarines existed before Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” for example). Other innovations, such as the worldwide internet-connected personal computer, weren’t predicted. Science fictions’ relative minority of “big hits” create the mistaken impression that it is an oracle of sorts for future technologies and inventions.

    • Joe H. May 6, 2020, 18:55

      Yes! Flying cars and/or hover cars have been just over the horizon for almost as long as nuclear fusion power plants. Just because something is theoretically doesn’t mean it’s really possible.

    • Andrei May 7, 2020, 19:11

      “….the worldwide internet-connected personal computer, weren’t predicted.”
      That’s one that actually was predicted with uncanny precision, that the same computer at a couples home was mounted into a wall instead of being free standing as the ones we got is a minor detail. The couple also used the computer to order a flight and tickets to an opera in London with the same computer was considered almost an unlikely level of luxury at the time – but turned out to be an spot on prediction of the commercial possibilities and also predict the era of affordable mass travel.

  • Michael Fidler May 6, 2020, 11:04

    I hope this develops into progressive research and a good review of the subject is Marc Millis, “PROGRESS IN REVOLUTIONARY PROPULSION PHYSICS”.
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1101.1063

  • Shawn May 6, 2020, 12:46

    I hope to see them publish research soon.

  • Alexander McLin May 8, 2020, 9:44

    Am I the only one who misread the title and misinterpreted it to mean unlimited amount of space institute research grants?

    Wishful thinking.

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