In 1903, the same year that the Wright Brothers made their historic flight, a Russian math teacher, Konstantin Tsiolkovski, advanced rocketry from an art to a science by deriving the rocket equation. Robert Goddard, Wernher von Braun, and others further advanced that work to build rockets. Eventually, new organizations were founded around those advancements to visit the Moon and create satellites that are now an integral part of the world’s communication and monitoring systems.
Following historic patterns, and considering where we are today, the quest for interstellar flight is at the early pioneering stage.
Wright Brothers achieved the first powered and controlled flight of a heavier-than-air vehicle in 1903.
Tsiolkovski derived the ‘Rocket Equation’ in 1903, changing rocketry from an art to a science
WHAT IS A PIONEER?
The advances on the left represent innovations, improvement in the way things were already being done. In contrast, the advances on the right represent departures from that norm into new realms – where revolutionary advancements are made. Each of these types of work are different. It has been show that preeminence is NOT sustained if all that is done is mere innovation. Someone has to stick their neck out into the unknown, and pull those visions into reality. THAT is what makes a pioneer. Image compilation: Marc Millis
DO YOU KNOW ANY PIONEERS?
If you know of a pioneering work related to interstellar flight (that we do not already have on our website), or you know someone who might quality as a pioneer, please send us only:
- Name of possible pioneer
- Their affiliation
- Citation of their pioneering work (not more than 3)
NOTE: A major requirement, however, is that we will only consider citations of peer-reviewed publications. This includes journal articles and books. We will NOT respond to inquires that only list URLs. For recommending individuals, a citation for at least one of their publications is required. We prefer to have recommendations come from colleagues instead of from the potential pioneers themselves.
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TOPICS AND OUR PRACTITIONER / SCOUTS
Our practitioners cover a span of disciplines, but we do not yet have all the bases covered. The outline below shows who we have dealt with regarding which topics. Note that many vacancies exist. We especially welcome credible suggestions for filling these vacancies.
We are in need of basic operational support in accounting, fundraising, and volunteer coordination.
- Journalism (public engagement), Centauri Dreams, Paul Gilster, with contributors Larry Klaes and others...
- University Collaborations, Ohio Aerospace Institute, Jim Gilland
- International Space University (ISU), (Many)
- Anthropology, Kathryn Denning
- Global Political/Social, <vacant>
- Financial Predictions, (candidate identified)
- Space History, Jack Hagerty (acting)
- Living on a Colony Ship, <vacant>
- Fate of Humanity on Earth, Dana Andrews
- SETI, (Pending)
- Science Fiction, Karen Anderson, Jim Benford, Greg Bear, David Brin, Geoff Landis...
- Habitable Planet Prospects, Geoff Marcy
- Precursor Destinations, Claudio Maccone (acting)
- Living Fermi-Drake Estimations, Claudio Maccone
- Relevant Ancillary Developments <vacant>
- Synthetic bio, <vacant)>
- Evolutionary and astrobiology, <vacant>
- Human life extension, <vacant>
- Bio-electro-mechanics, <vacant>
- Transhumanism, <vacant>
- AI eclipsing Humanity, <vacant>
- Trajectory & Mission analysis, Robert Frisbee (Others pending)
- Maneuvering Propulsion, Robert Noble
- Solar Sail Early Mission Assessment, Lou Friedman
- Space Sails, Greg Matloff
- Beamed Energy, Jim Benford
- Nuclear and Antimatter Propulsion & Power, Steven Howe
- Antimatter SOA, Gerald Jackson
- Systems & Reliability, Dana Andrews
- Interstellar Communication Technology, <vacant>
- Power Management & Distribution Technology, <vacant>
- Heat Rejection Technology, <vacant>
- Colony Ship Technology, <vacant>
- Probe Miniaturization Technology, <vacant>
- Unresolved Propulsion & Power Physics, Millis(acting)*
- Fundamental Electromagnetism, Mike LaPointe*
- Quantum Vacuum Physics, Jordan Maclay
- Space Drive Physics, Millis
- Faster-Than-Light in General Relativity, Eric Davis
- Quantum Faster-Than-Light Implications, <vacant>
- Fundamental Physics Analysis/Assessments, Jean-Luc Cambier
- Experimental facilities and methods, George Hathaway, Chis Duif
The Tau Zero Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to pioneering advancements toward interstellar flight.