Project Icarus: A 21st Century Interstellar Starship Study


R. K. Obousy (2012), JBIS65, 325-329

Refcode: 2012.65.325
Keywords: Project Daedalus, Project Icarus

Inspired by Project Daedalus, Project Icarus is a volunteer five year theoretical design study for an interstellar starship that would reach a nearby star in a journey time of 100 years or less. The purpose of Project Icarus is: 1. To motivate a new generation of scientists in designing space missions that can explore beyond our solar system, 2. To generate greater interest in the real term prospects for interstellar precursor missions that are based on credible science, 3. To design a credible interstellar probe that is a concept design for a potential mission and to provide an assessment of the technological maturity of fusion based space propulsion for future precursor missions, 4. To allow a direct technology comparison with Daedalus and provide an assessment of the maturity of fusion based space propulsion for future precursor missions.

The project was launched in September of 2009 and, to date, the team has invested an estimated 15,000 man hours to the project. In this paper an overview of Project Icarus is presented, including the initial motivations, the technical direction and some early results.