Initiative for Interstellar Studies
|Motto||"Scientia ad sidera"|
|Legal status||Incorporated in the UK as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee|
|Purpose||To conduct activities or research relating to the challenges of achieving robotic and human interstellar flight.|
|Astronautical engineers Astrophysicists|
|Kelvin F. Long|
|Affiliations||British Interplanetary Society|
|Remarks||See also the i4is blog|
The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) is a nonprofit organization, whose objectives are education and research into the challenges of Interstellar Travel. Several of its principals were involved in the 100 Year Starship winning team originated by NASA and DARPA.
Although practical studies of interstellar travel date back as far as the JBIS red cover editions in the early 1950s and the BIS Daedalus Project in the 1970s, there has been a resurgence of interest in the 2010s and a number of initiatives and institutions have paid attention to the subject. These include the 100 Year Starship project of NASA and DARPA, the Tau Zero Foundation, the Global Starship Alliance, Star Voyager, and Icarus Interstellar.
The first of a planned annual series of symposia inspired by the i4is took place on 29 May 2013 at the British Interplanetary Society(BIS). Titled The Philosophy of the Starship it included contributions on self-replicating Von Neumann probes, the Fermi Paradox, developments since the British Interplanetary Society Project Daedalus of 1975, interstellar discovery as an antidote to intellectual stagnation citing the views of John Locke and Francis Fukuyama, science fiction as a vehicle for discussion of the ethics and cultural impact of alien contact and geopolitical influence on deep space exploration.
The i4is publishes a quarterly newsletter, Principium.
The Initiative for Interstellar Studies delivered a 2-week elective to the students on the Masters of Space Studies course at the International Space University, Strasbourg, 2–13 May 2016. The course modules were delivered by Professor Chris Welch of the International Space University, Professor Ian Crawford of Birkbeck College, University of London, Robert Swinney, chair of the i4is Education Committee, Kelvin F Long, Executive Director of the i4is, Angelo Genovese, Andreas Hein, John I Davies, Marc Casson, Sam Harrison and Stephen Ashworth.
i4is has initiated a project working on small interstellar spacecraft, propelled by a laser sail in 2014 under the name of Project Dragonfly. Four student teams worked on concepts for such a mission in 2014 and 2015 in the context of a design competition. In November 2017, i4is launched Project Lyra and proposed a set of mission concepts for reaching the interstellar asteroid 1I/ʻOumuamua.
The i4is has a number of internationally renowned academics and engineers who have oversight and involvement with its work -
- Dr Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK, is Director Sustainability & Development for i4is.
- Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Limited, is a consultant to i4is.
- Dr Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London is a member of the Advisory Council of the i4is
- Freeman Dyson FRS, theoretical physicist and mathematician, professor emeritus Institute for Advanced Study is a member of the Advisory Council of the i4is.
- Roman Kezerashvili, Associate Professor in Physical & Biological Sciences New York City College of Technology is a member of the Advisory Council of the i4is,
- Kelvin F. Long, astrophysicist, editor of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and member of the Management and Advisory Committee of Breakthrough Starshot is Executive Director of the i4is.
- Claudio Maccone, chair of the SETI Permanent Committee  of the International Academy of Astronautics is a member of the Advisory Council of the i4is.
- Gregory L. Matloff, professor New York City College of Technology is Chair of the Advisory Council of the i4is.
- Austin Tate, Professor of Knowledge-Based Systems, University of Edinburgh  is contributing expertise to Artificial Intelligence and remote vehicle operations to the work of the i4is.
- Dr Chris Welch, Resident Faculty member of the International Space University (ISU), and a Visiting Lecturer in Spacecraft Propulsion at Cranfield University is Deputy Chair of the Advisory Council of the i4is.
- “The Institute for Interstellar Studies”, Spaceflight (magazine), Editorial, Vol.54, No.12, p.445, December 2012, by David Baker
- "100 Year Starship". DARPA. Archived from the original on 2013-07-22.
- “The Philosophy of the Starship”, Spaceflight (magazine), Vol.55, No.8, pp.314-315, August 2013, by Stephen Ashworth and Kelvin F. Long
- "Alpha Centauri Award".
- "Armen Papazian".
- "Money Mechanics For Space".
- "first Starship Congress". Icarus Interstellar.
- "The London Speaker Bureau - News - Dr. Armen Papazian Wins the First Alpha Centauri Prize".
- "Principium". i4is.
- "A conceptual study to design an interstellar precursor mission to the gravitational lensing point of the Sun using a solar sailing-type architecture". International Space University.
- "Principium 13:Interstellar News:i4is at the International Space University" (PDF). Initiative for Interstellar Studies.
- “Project Dragonfly”, i4is.org/news/dragonfly
- Hein, A. M., Perakis, N., Long, K. F., Crowl, A., Eubanks, M., Kennedy III, R. G., & Osborne, R. (2017). Project Lyra: Sending a Spacecraft to 1I/'Oumuamua (former A/2017 U1), the Interstellar Asteroid. https://arxiv.org/abs/1711.03155
- "Professor Rachel Armstrong".
- "Dr Ian Crawford". Birkbeck College, University of London.
- "Roman Kezerashvili". New York City College of Technology.
- "Gregory L. Matloff". New York City College of Technology.
- "Austin Tate". University of Edinburgh.
- "Dr Chris Welch". International Space University.