Tau Zero Foundation
|Tau Zero Foundation|
|Motto:||Ad astra incrementis|
|Founded:||April 24, 2006|
|Key people:||Jeff Greason|
Chairman of the Board
Director of the Board
Walter de Brouwer
Director of the Board
The Tau Zero Foundation, or Tau Zero Foundation for Interstellar Spaceflight, is a spinoff of the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program (BPP), a research project that ran from 1996 through 2002. NASA established the program to study proposals for revolutionary methods of spacecraft propulsion that would require breakthroughs in physics before they could be realized. During its six years of funding, the program was supported with a total investment of US $1.2 million.
NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics
The NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program was a 1996–2002 research program that aimed to find ways to achieve interstellar spaceflight on realistic mass and energy timescales. The program examined propellantless propulsion, hyperfast travel, and breakthrough propulsion. At the end of the project, four research avenues were identified as opportunities for continued research.
Frontiers of Propulsion Science
After conclusion of NASA funding into the program, principal investigator Marc Millis and physicist Eric Davis documented the results in the book Frontiers of Propulsion Science, published in February 2009 by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Its “Chapter 3: Prerequisites for Space Drive Science” provides a deeper explanation of several proposed spacecraft propulsion methods.
Following the close of the program in 2002, Millis joined several project members to establish the Tau Zero Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating research into interstellar travel. The name stems from the science fiction novel Tau Zero, which chronicles an interstellar voyage and the lives of its participants. Millis retired from NASA on February 3, 2010, continuing interstellar research at Tau Zero.
Notable Tau Zero leadership includes board directors Walter de Brouwer, cofounder of Starlab, fellow Starlab alumnus and NASA-trained commercial astronaut, quantum technologist Christopher Altman; founder of XCOR Aerospace, Jeff Greason joined as chairman of the board in 2017.
In April 2017, NASA awarded Tau Zero a $500,000 grant for the study of breakthrough propulsion programs in a funding proposal entitled Interstellar Propulsion Review. A summary of work to date was given by Millis in a talk at the 2017 Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, Breakthrough Propulsion Study.
The foundation has been covered in press and publications including The New York Times, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, ABC News, NBC News, Fortune, Forbes, The Space Show, Phys.org, Centauri Dreams, Seeker.com, Popular Science, Space.com, Jezebel.com, BigThink, Futurism, Next Big Future, h+ Magazine, Wired, The Guardian, China Daily, Slate and Spiegel.
- Breakthrough Initiatives on Wikipedia
- Icarus Interstellar on Wikipedia
- Initiative for Interstellar Studies on Wikipedia
- Marc G. Millis, "The Challenge To Create The Space Drive", 1997, Journal of Propulsion and Power.
- Marc G. Millis & Eric W. Davis (editors): Frontiers of Propulsion Science. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston VA, 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4 (739 pages).
- Prospects for Breakthrough Propulsion Physics
- Assessing Potential Propulsion Breakthroughs
- Lifeboat Foundation Bios: Walter de Brouwer, Tau Zero
- Tau Zero Foundation: Into the Second Decade
- NASA Awards Grant to Tau Zero Foundation
- Breakthrough Propulsion Study
- Overbyte, Dennis. “Offering Funds, U.S. Agency Dreams of Sending Humans to Stars”. nytimes.com 11 Aug 2011. New York Times.
- Apert, Mark. Warp Drive Research Key to Interstellar Travel. scientificamerican.com 23 Apr 2014. Scientific American.
- Where's My Warp Drive? | DiscoverMagazine.com
- Interstellar travel and the asteroid mining entrepreneurs
- NASA's Warp Drive? Starship Enterprise Makes a Virtual Splash - NBC News
- Cool Technologies to Look Forward to After VR
- How NASA Might Push Aerospace's Next Big Propulsion Breakthrough
- Lessons On Designing An Interstellar Probe
- Interstellar Defense Network Might Avert Real-Life 'Independence Day'
- Leaving Earth: Former NASA Rocket Scientist On The Politics Of Going Interstellar
- Seven Sci-Fi Scenarios For Interstellar Space Travel That Could Happen In This Century
- This Week On The Space Show | International Space Fellowship
- Here Is the Future of Interstellar Spacecraft
- Project Lyra, a mission to chase down that interstellar asteroid
- NASA Grant Award to Tau Zero Foundation
- Sizing Up the Daedalus Interstellar Spacecraft: Slide Show
- We Won't Have Enough Power For Interstellar Travel Until At Least 2211, According to New Calculations
- David, Leonard. “Futuristic Interstellar Space Probe Idea Revisited” space.com. 7 May 2010. Space.
- Does Humanity's Destiny Lie in Interstellar Space Travel? (Op-Ed)
- Incredible Technology: How to Make Interstellar Spaceflight a Reality
- Lasers Could Blast Tiny Spacecraft to the Stars
- NASA's 100-Year Starship Project Sets Sights on Interstellar Travel
- Boldly Go? Can Humanity Afford ‘Star Trek’-Like Space Exploration?
- Chasing Wormholes: The Hunt for Tunnels in Space-Time
- Futuristic Interstellar Space Probe Idea Revisited
- Aliens Real*
- Project Icarus: An Interstellar Mission
- A Quick Rundown of the Alcubierre "Warp Drive"
- What Is the Alcubierre "Warp" Drive?
- Space Experts Review EMDrive and give recommendations at Centauri Dreams | NextBigFuture.com
- Foxconn heading to nearly fully automated factories | NextBigFuture.com
- Icarus Interstellar has the X-Physics Propulsion & Power Project (XP4) and Mark Rademaker's visuals of based on the technical work of Sonny White | NextBigFuture.com
- All About Space Travel, Time Travel, Quantum Tunneling & Zero-G Sex - h+
- New Book: Warp Speed, Maybe
- As we begin to think of exoplanets as real worlds we could visit, we will want to go | Sarah Scoles
- Next stop, Alpha Centauri|Sunday Life|chinadaily.com.cn
- The 40-Year Itch
- Interstellare Reise: Pentagon plant