What We Do
How close are we to convenient space travel?
What we do at The Center for Starship R & D is research the facts and theories to develop the first ever Starship class vehicle for human space exploration. We are taking Sci Fi to reality by looking at all the possible ways that will make this happen within the next 10, 25 or 50 years. 3D printers are the future of building almost everything and will be used to print the entire starship or at least as much as possible. We believe that using multiple printers the entire starship can be printed using components that are in powder form or reduced to a state that can be used and restructured at the molecular level. We were asked on Twitter today the following question from MacMedia @TheMacMediaShow How close are we to convenient space travel? A big Thank you to MacMedia. MacMedia @TheMacMediaShow
Our Response: @TheMacMediaShow For us we are 5-15 years away from coming close. Others like @virgingalactic @SpaceX are much closer. We r long term focusd — Donald McElfresh (@DonaldMcElfresh) June 23, 2014
Astral Center for Starship R & D is dedicated to finding solutions for humanity traveling in space.
The things we take for granted on Earth can become a precious commodity in space. Like Air, Water, Food, Clothing, etc.the list goes on and on. The comforts we enjoy here like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald’s, Burger King, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s etc. These companies are not there yet. Maybe on a Starship Cruise Line you might find them someday. We are working on an idea that will help us learn how to deal with the confinements of living and working in space. Soon we will be doing a Kickstarter campaign to help with this attempt, so please stay tuned. The Center for Starship R & D is looking for you as an individual to present your ideas and dreams to build the first starship. We want to hear from every person on the planet. If your ideas are used you will be rewarded handsomely. Think of this: We build super computers by connecting many nodes or each computer to make one. That is what we want to do at The Center connect millions of people and their ideas together to make one teeny tiny starship. In comparison with the Universe that is. So do not think your idea is silly or stupid or that you are not intelligent enough to help build a starship. We need you and your friends, and your friends, friends to connect and give us more than what we have today. Some of the most brilliant minds in the world are still not recognized and still live in obscurity. Now is everyone’s chance to shine.
Stay SafeThe biggest danger to the starship’s crew is decades of exposure to cosmic radiation, which can sicken passengers and put their offspring at risk by damaging DNA. Any ideal design would avoid adding the extra mass of physical shielding; advances in force-field technology might offer the solution. Advanced Magnet Lab, a Florida-based company that makes medical and military imaging equipment, is working under a multiyear NASA grant to study the use of magnetic fields to repel these dangerous particles. The reduced gravity on board a spaceship interferes with the human body’s flow of cells and fluids, which impedes healing. Ronke Olabisi, Rutgers University biomedical engineering professor and 100YSS science board member, is developing an injectable goo that speeds the repair of wounds, bone fractures, and internal organs. The system encapsulates proteins that spur bone and tissue growth in microspheres that don’t trigger an attack by the patient’s immune system. “The outcome of this project won’t just benefit astronauts,” Olabisi says. “Each year billions of dollars are spent treating over 2.8 million chronic wound patients in the U.S.”
What to Wear
PropulsionThe Hof has a plasma engine powered by a fission nuclear reactor. Plasma engines show great promise: Last year the Texas company Ad Astra signed an agreement with NASA to test a solar-powered version in space—possibly on the ISS—in 2015. In the future, fusion power may be realized; if it is, we can incorporate it into PM’s proposed spacecraft.How a fusion plasma engine would work: Microwaves (1) heat hydrogen isotopes to 600 million degrees Kelvin, creating plasma. Powerful magnets (2) contain the super hot plasma and push the material together so that the isotopes fuse. This fusion creates a huge amount of energy. Magnetic fields guide the plasma out of the magnetic nozzle (3), propelling the ship at an incredible 12 percent light speed.
Land on an Alien PlanetThe starship crew deploys small, speedy probes to confirm details about Proxima Centauri’s planets. The probes communicate their findings via lasers operating at visible-light frequencies. One key question: Is there life in that alien solar system? Scientists have long believed that red dwarf stars were unsuitable hosts for habitable planets, since they eject deadly, atmosphere-erasing X-rays. However, the European-run HARPS spectrograph in Chile in 2012 sampled 102 red dwarfs and estimated that 41 percent might be hiding habitable planets. Researchers have also recently argued that the moons of planets that orbit red dwarfs could be large enough to hold atmospheres. No one knows what we’ll find. But humans will, for the first time, no longer be doomed to extinction when our sun’s fuel runs out. We’ll have the chance to be permanent residents of the universe.In late 2012 scientists, researchers, and optimists gathered in Houston for the second annual 100 Year Starship Symposium, a Pentagon and NASA-supported project to promote the technology needed to build an interstellar spaceship. Inspired by the audacious enterprise, PM envisioned a spacecraft ready to take 200 people on a 90-year trip to Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf star 4.24 light-years away. Astronomers are finding more potentially habitable planets in the universe—humanity just has to figure out how to get to them.
Create an EcosystemInterstellar missions require a revolution in food production. One thing missing in deep space: sunlight. Scientists at Kennedy Space Center are tailoring the wavelengths of LEDs to grow specific crops. Space farming also demands a deeper understanding of microorganisms that support plants. “How do you renew soil?” asks Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut whose foundation is leading the government’s 100 Year Starship project. To find out, astronauts are using a chamber on the International Space Station to determine the healthiest conditions for plants, microorganisms, and insects.
Choose a DestinationEpic journeys start with a destination. Astronomers using advanced space telescopes are finding hundreds of planets every year—researchers estimate that 50 percent of the 150,000 stars analyzed by the Kepler space telescope have planets the size of Earth or slightly bigger. But scientists don’t yet know if there are any planets orbiting red dwarf Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system. NASA’s James Webb space telescope, due to launch in 2018, may be able to pick out the subtle changes in starlight that indicate if planets are present. Year One The Hof, only 5.5 light-hours away from the sun, passes Pluto. The vessel is still years away from reaching maximum speed. Year Two The edge of our solar system is called the heliopause, where our sun’s solar wind dies away. It is estimated to be about 17.6 billion miles away. Year 10 The Oort cloud, a massive region of icy comets, is the last pitstop to restock water and raw materials. Robot miners do the collecting so the ship doesn’t have to slow. Year 25 The first infants born in interstellar space graduate college. They are trained to be crew—and perhaps colonists. 90 Years Out After several years of deceleration, the Hófvarpnir reaches a new solar system, Proxima Centauri, 4.24 light-years from the sun.