The 34 Year Starship


J. Nosanov; A. Shapiro; H. Garrett (2012), JBIS65, 310-319

Refcode: 2012.65.310
Keywords: NASA, JPL, Caltech, MIT, Interstellar, Reliability, Extreme, Long life, Voyager, Pioneer, Golden Record

In 1974, the designers and leadership of a mission then known as “Mariner Jupiter Saturn 1977” decided that the name was a mouthful. They briefly deliberated and decided to rename it “Voyager” [1]. Similarly, we believe that “DARPA 100 Year Starship” is unnecessarily verbose. We propose to call it “Enterprise.” Among the many challenges facing such a mission is that of earning public support – we should let half a century of Hollywood storytelling do that for us. This paper is composed of four parts. Part 1 will discuss the parallels between the Voyager program and a future Enterprise program. Part 2 will go into greater detail regarding the Voyager program and the challenges and opportunities that defined it. Part 3 will discuss some of the major technical challenges for Voyager and Enterprise in greater detail. Part 4 will discuss next steps and various strategies to meet DARPA’s challenge of sustainable industry-funded research into interstellar flight.