Exactly. DARPA, the quasi-military agency that has the right to tinker with all sorts of ideas, has launched a new program not so different from that open sourced vehicle design competition they held a while ago. But this time, it’s all about spaceships, baby. Specifically the type that can travel for a hundred years in the eerie icy loneliness between the stars.
What DARPA is looking for are organizations and people who are willing to invest time and brain power to develop a business plan (yes, a business plan) for a viable program culminating in the launch of a full fledged starship. Consider this another bid for private interests to take part in humanity’s greatest mission yet: reaching the stars.
The deadline for proposals is June 3. Now quick, someone get in touch with Kim Stanley Robinson!
Here’s some dramatic poetry to fire the imagination:
DARPA also anticipates that the advancements achieved by such technologies will have substantial relevance to DoD mission areas including propulsion, energy storage, biology/life support, computing, structures, navigation, and others. Beyond the DoD and NASA, these investments will reinvigorate private entrepreneurs, the engineering and scientific community, and the world’s youth in a bold quest for the stars, DARPA stated.