star-trek-uss-enterpriseScience Fiction such as Star Trek and Star Wars inspire a group toward new directions in space travel

A new group of super nerds in Florida are forming a joint organization consisting of NASA and Darpa members and resources.  DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — and NASA’s Ames Research Center in California teamed to create and administer a one-year program called the 100-Year Starship Study. Basically within 100 years we will have an enterprise and fortunately William Shatner will still be a live to pilot it.

The idea is to stand up a private-sector organization that could run something like an endowment — an institution that could raise money to invest in the vision and spur the century-long patronage and persistence needed to truly make mankind a space-faring species.

There are legal ramifications: who owns what in outer space and how might someone lay claim to interstellar territory. There are ethical questions about who might go — and who would stay — and whether we might be sending people on a one-way trip.

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