Wired's NASA's EmDrive Leader Has a New Interstellar Project also mentions

White’s research pedigree may sound like it was cribbed from a mad scientist in a pulp sci-fi novel, but most of his work was done as the leader of NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Physics Lab at Johnson Space Center. The lab, which White christened Eagleworks, was founded in 2009 to explore the frontier of physics in search of the next big breakthrough in space power and propulsion. In December, White left the lab he led for a decade to head up R&D at the Limitless Space Institute, a new nonprofit in Houston working to accelerate the human exploration of interstellar space.

“It seemed like a great opportunity to more purposefully pursue advanced power and propulsion with a little more intensity,” says White. “It was a personal choice and the next step for me to take in terms of my pinnacle objective: enabling human exploration of the outer solar system and other stars.”

Limitless Space Institute was founded last year by Kam Ghaffarian, an engineer and entrepreneur who also founded the nuclear energy company X-energy and Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, one of the largest engineering contractors for NASA. His new organization plans to foster advanced space power and propulsion technologies through a mix of in-house research, grants, and partnerships with other institutions, including NASA’s Eagleworks. Earlier this month, Ghaffarian announced the nonprofit’s first round of Interstellar Initiative Grants, which will award researchers up to $250,000 to work on problems related to interstellar travel.

Question: Looking at https://www.limitlessspace.org/grant-initiatives/ I don't see any evidence that grants were awarded, much less how much and two whom. Has this been publicly announced yet?


1 Answer 1


They have a press release here.

It contains the selections (listed below), and the grant amounts. "Tactical" means grants up to \$100k and "Strategic" grants up to \$250k.

Directed Energy for Revolutionary Space Propulsion and Power Projection (STRATEGIC): Modular and scalable directed energy approach with propulsion applications ranging from rapid solar system missions to the first relativistic missions capable of robotic interstellar flight | Phil Lubin, University of California, Davis *BEAMED POWER; supports human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Centrifugal Confinement Direct-Drive Fusion Propulsion (TACTICAL): Uses axial loss cone alphas from centrifugally confined D-T fusion plasma to directly generate RF electrical power upstream and to heat bypass propellant flow downstream for variable thrust and high specific impulse | Ray Sedwick, University of Maryland *FUSION POWER/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Exploration of Pulsed Breakeven Fusion at 100 kJ Energy for Breakthrough Propulsion (STRATEGIC): An experimental and three dimensional numerical investigation of fusion yield for near solid density lithium deuteride stabilized by a rising current | Jason Cassibry, University of Alabama, Huntsville *FUSION POWER/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

HELIOS-X: Inertial Confinement Fusion Code for Advanced Space Propulsion (TACTICAL): a system integrated programming design tool for the purpose of calculating spacecraft mission profile and propulsion performance for inertial confinement fusion driven designs | Kelvin Long, Interstellar Research Centre; Stellar Engines UK *FUSION POWER/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Development of a Physics-based Model for a High-Power Peristaltic Magnetic Nozzle [enabling fusion propulsion] (TACTICAL): An advanced magnetic compression system to increase the performance of a compact ultra-scalable fusion engine for fast space travel | Setthivoine You, HelicitySpace, California; Caltech; University of Maryland, Baltimore County *FUSION POWER/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Origami Photonic Crystal Sail fabrication and test (STRATEGIC): development and demonstration of scalable large-aspect-ratio origami photonic crystal nanoscale membranes with large-bandwidth high reflectivity, low optical absorption, and high strength | Richard Norte, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands *SAIL; interstellar probe

Assessing the viability of vacuum-based propulsion with hydrodynamic quantum field theory (TACTICAL): Properties of the vacuum are probed from a new theoretical perspective inspired by a macroscopic pilot-wave system | John Bush, Massachusetts Institute of Technology *SPACEDRIVE/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Asymmetric Potential Vacuum Fluctuation Forces (TACTICAL): Generate propellantless propulsion forces from quantum vacuum fluctuations by engineering the direct interaction between nanostructure potentials and the vacuum | Charles Chase, UnLab, Washington, DC; Technion – Israel Institute of Technology *SPACEDRIVE/PROPULSION; rapid human exploration of outer solar system, interstellar

Traversable Wormholes: A Road to Interstellar Exploration: Establish whether introducing modifications of the Casimir energy can produce a Traversable Wormhole (TW) of an appropriate size that could be used for interstellar travel | Remo Garattini, University of Bergamo, Italy *WARP/WORMHOLE; rapid interstellar


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