SETI Starship NASA

Larry Klaes (
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 19:00:33 -0400

ROADMAP TO A STAR J.L. Anderson: Roadmap to a star. ACTA ASTRONAUTICA, 1999, Vol.44, No.2-4, pp.91-97 NASA, OFF SPACE SCI, WASHINGTON,DC,20546 NASA is currently constructing an Interstellar Roadmap that will outline a progressive series of phased technology efforts over several decades that would enable new science beyond the solar system, leading to and culminating in robotics exploration of nearby stars. The Roadmap is structured around a decadal progression of science missions and enabling technologies in which each decadal cycle has an intrinsic value in itself. The Roadmap serves at least 5 functions: 1) it lays the foundation for the development of a broad new strategic thrust of space exploration and development; 2) it outlines a long term progressive program for which each phase has an intrinsic value and can be argued independently of a Star Mission itself; 3) it defines a phased approach that would culminate in a large scale breakthrough beamed energy capability that would have broad planetary and terrestrial applicability; 4) it describes an endeavor that could provide the technological basis of a U.S. economic engine for the first half of the 21st century; and 5) it provides a focus and a structure around which new government/industry economic relationships may be established. This paper outlines the process for constructing the Roadmap which is due to be completed in Fall 1999. It also poses questions raised by a mission of such scale and suggests some of the strategic value of such a Roadmap. (C) 1999 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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