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Centauri Dreams
Imagining and Planning Interstellar Exploration

Centauri Dreams
  • Breakthrough Starshot ?Sprites? in Orbit
    If Breakthrough Starshot succeeds in launching a fleet of tiny probes to Proxima Centauri in 30 or 40 years, their payloads will be highly miniaturized and built to specifications far beyond our capabilities today. But the small ?Sprites? launched into low Earth orbit on June 23 give us an idea where the research is heading. […]

  • InflateSail Tests Deployment & Deorbiting Technologies
    Testing out new sail applications is part of a European project called RemoveDebris, which focuses on strategies for dealing with the enormous amount of junk that is piling up around the Earth. Run by the Surrey Space Center at the University of Surrey (UK) and the Von Karman Institute of Belgium, the work takes note […]

  • SailBeam: A Conversation with Jordin Kare
    Looking around on the Net for background information about Jordin Kare, who died last week at age 60 (see yesterday?s post), I realized how little is available on his SailBeam concept, described yesterday. SailBeam accelerates myriads of micro-sails and turns them into a plasma when they reach a departing starship, giving it the propulsion to […]

  • Remembering Jordin Kare (1956-2017)
    We?ve just lost a fine interstellar thinker. Jordin Kare has died of aortic valve failure at age 60. While Kare played a role in the Clementine lunar mapping mission and developed a reusable rocket concept in the 1990s that he thought could be parlayed into a space launch system (in typical Kare fashion, he called […]

  • METI: A Response to Steven Johnson
    Yesterday?s post dwelt on an article by Steven Johnson in the New York Times Magazine that looked at the issue of broadcasting directed messages to the stars. The article attempted a balanced look, contrasting the goals of METI-oriented researchers like Douglas Vakoch with the concerns of METI opponents like David Brin, and fleshing out the […]


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