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Is NASA Planning One-Way Spaceflights?

By / 11.02.10

Earlier in October, NASA Ames Research Center director Simon Warden mentioned a new project NASA was working with DARPA on: a “hundred year starship,” designed for colonizing other planets. But after that, NASA’s kept mum on the project, and have been putting off requests for more info from Fox News on the subject. You’d think they’d be bragging about this project all over the nerd community, right? After all, isn’t this is the dream that all space flight researchers have always been working towards?

Well, it turns out that space colonization has long been a forbidden topic at NASA, presumably because of not wanting to talk about Astronauts giving up any chance of coming back to Earth in their lifetimes. (One-way trips obviously save a heck of a lot of fuel and materials compared to a round trip ship.) Also, there’s the weirdness of having to plan for eventual space children and space grandchildren.

Since NASA’s not giving out any new information on the project, all we have is what was given out in that first talk. Warden mentioned that the project had just started with $1 million of NASA funding and $100,000 of DARPA money. How much would it cost? Well, Worden is shooting for reaching the moons of Mars first, and told Larry Page (founder of Google), that the project would cost $10 billion. Page asked if he could get it down to $1 or $2 billion. Heck, he’s got that kind of money in his back pocket.

[io9]


TAGSDARPAmarsNASANASA Ames ResearchscienceSpace Colonizationspace explorationTech

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