Tau Zero Foundation

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Tau Zero Foundation
Tau Zero.jpg
“Ad astra incrementis”
IndustryInterstellar spaceflight
Founded 📆April 24, 2006
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️Columbus, Ohio
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Jeff Greason, Chairman of the Board
Christopher Altman, Director
Walter de Brouwer Director
Number of employees
🌐 Websitetauzero.aero
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Wormhole travel as envisioned by Les Bossinas for NASA
Wormhole travel as envisioned by Les Bossinas for NASA

The Tau Zero Foundation, or Tau Zero Foundation for Interstellar Spaceflight, is a spinoff of the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program (BPP), a NASA-funded research project that ran from 1996 through 2002. NASA established the program to study proposals for revolutionary methods of spacecraft propulsion that would require breakthroughs in physics before they could be realized. During its six years of funding, the program was supported with a total investment of US $1.2 million.

NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics[edit]

The NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program was a 1996–2002 research program that aimed to find ways to achieve interstellar spaceflight on realistic mass and energy timescales. The program examined propellantless propulsion, hyperfast travel, and breakthrough propulsion.[1] At the end of the project, four research avenues were identified as opportunities for continued research.[1][2]

Frontiers of Propulsion Science[edit]

After conclusion of NASA funding into the program, principal investigator Marc Millis and physicist Eric Davis documented the results in the book Frontiers of Propulsion Science, published in February 2009 by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Its “Chapter 3: Prerequisites for Space Drive Science” provides a deeper explanation of several proposed spacecraft propulsion methods.

Nonprofit spinoff[edit]

Following the close of the program in 2002, Millis joined several project members to establish the Tau Zero Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating research into interstellar travel. The name stems from the science fiction novel Tau Zero, which chronicles an interstellar voyage and the lives of its participants. Millis retired from NASA on February 3, 2010, continuing interstellar research at Tau Zero.

Notable Tau Zero leadership includes board directors Walter de Brouwer,[3] cofounder of Starlab, Starlab alumnus and NASA-trained commercial astronaut Christopher Altman, quantum technologist[4][5][6] and longtime scientific collaborator with Starlab alumnus and Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program theoretical physicist Serguei Krasnikov.[7][8][9][10] Jeff Greason, founder of XCOR Aerospace, joined as board chairman in 2017.

Interstellar Review[edit]

In April 2017, NASA awarded Tau Zero a $500,000 grant for the study of breakthrough propulsion programs in a funding proposal entitled Interstellar Propulsion Review.[11][12] A summary of work to date was given by Millis in a talk at the 2017 Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, Breakthrough Propulsion Study.[13]

Media coverage[edit]

The foundation has been extensively covered in press and publications including The New York Times,[14] Scientific American,[15] Discover Magazine,[16] ABC News,[17] NBC News,[18] Fortune,[19] Forbes,[20][21][22][23][24] The Space Show,[25] Futurism,[26] Phys.org,[27] Centauri Dreams,[28] Seeker.com,[29] Popular Science,[30] Space.com,[31][32][33][34][35][36][37] Jezebel.com,[38] BigThink,[39] Futurism,[40] ECNMag,[41] Next Big Future,[42][43][44] h+ Magazine,[45] Wired,[46] The Guardian,[47] China Daily,[48] Slate[49] and Spiegel,[50] among others.

See also[edit]


  • Marc G. Millis, "The Challenge To Create The Space Drive", 1997, Journal of Propulsion and Power.
  • Marc G. Millis & Eric W. Davis (editors): Frontiers of Propulsion Science. American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston VA, 2009, ISBN 978-1-56347-956-4 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. (739 pages), Summary


  1. 1.0 1.1 Millis, Mark G. (2004). "Prospects for Breakthrough Propulsion From Physics" (PDF). Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. Millis, Mark G. (Dec 1, 2005). "Assessing Potential Propulsion Breakthroughs" (PDF). New Trends in Astrodynamics and Applications 2: an International Conference; 3-5 Jun. 2005; Princeton, NJ; United States. 1065: 441. Bibcode:2005NYASA1065..441M. doi:10.1196/annals.1370.023. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  3. "Lifeboat Foundation Bios: Dr. Walter De Brouwer". lifeboat.com. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  4. Kurzweil, Ray. "Astronaut scientists for hire open new research frontier in space | KurzweilAI". www.kurzweilai.net. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  5. "Tau Zero Foundation Newsletter: Into the Second Decade". March 2016. Retrieved Nov 22, 2017. New Board member: Christopher Altman, a scientist, diplomat, and NASA-trained commercial astronaut, is joining the Tau Zero Foundation Board of Directors.
  6. Altman, Christopher (2012-05-20). "Astronaut Development and Deployment of a Secure Quantum Space Channel Prototype". DARPA Quiness Macroscopic Quantum Communications.
  7. Krasnikov, S. V. (1998-04-15). "Hyperfast Interstellar Travel in General Relativity". Physical Review D. 57 (8): 4760–4766. arXiv:gr-qc/9511068. Bibcode:1998PhRvD..57.4760K. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.57.4760. ISSN 0556-2821.
  8. Krasnikov, S. (October 2008). "Falling into the Schwarzschild black hole. Important details". Gravitation and Cosmology. 14 (4): 362–367. arXiv:0804.3619. Bibcode:2008GrCo...14..362K. doi:10.1134/S0202289308040129. ISSN 0202-2893.
  9. Krasnikov, S. V. (2000-03-22). "Toward a Traversable Wormhole". ArXiv:gr-qc/0003092: arXiv:gr–qc/0003092. arXiv:gr-qc/0003092. Bibcode:2000gr.qc.....3092K.
  10. Krasnikov, S. (September 2000). "A traversable wormhole". Physical Review D. 62 (8): 084028. arXiv:gr-qc/9909016. Bibcode:2000PhRvD..62h4028K. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.62.084028. ISSN 0556-2821.
  11. "NASA Awards Grant to Tau Zero Foundation". Tau Zero Interstellar Spaceflight Foundation. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  12. "NASA Grant Awarded to Tau Zero Interstellar Foundation". Centauri Dreams. 2017-05-01. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  13. Millis, Marc (2011-10-25). "Breakthrough Propulsion Study".
  14. Overbye, Dennis (2011-08-17). "Offering Funds, U.S. Agency Dreams of Sending Humans to Stars". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  15. "Futuristic Interstellar Space Probe Idea Revisited". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  16. "Where's My Warp Drive? | DiscoverMagazine.com". Discover Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  17. "Interstellar travel and the asteroid mining entrepreneurs". Radio National. 2013-02-26. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  18. "NASA's Warp Drive? Starship Enterprise Makes a Virtual Splash - NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  19. "8 Cool Technologies to Look Forward to After VR". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  20. Dorminey, Bruce. "How NASA Might Push Aerospace's Next Big Propulsion Breakthrough". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  21. Dorminey, Bruce. "Lessons On Designing An Interstellar Probe". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  22. Dorminey, Bruce. "Interstellar Defense Network Might Avert Real-Life 'Independence Day'". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  23. Dorminey, Bruce. "Leaving Earth: Former NASA Rocket Scientist On The Politics Of Going Interstellar". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  24. Ackerman, Elise. "Seven Sci-Fi Scenarios For Interstellar Space Travel That Could Happen In This Century". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  25. "This Week On The Space Show | International Space Fellowship". spacefellowship.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  26. "Here Is the Future of Interstellar Spacecraft". Futurism. 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  27. "Project Lyra, a mission to chase down that interstellar asteroid". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  28. "NASA Grant Award to Tau Zero Foundation". www.centauri-dreams.org. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  29. DNews (2012-12-12). "Sizing Up the Daedalus Interstellar Spacecraft : Slide Show". Seeker. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  30. "We Won't Have Enough Power For Interstellar Travel Until At Least 2211, According to New Calculations". Popular Science. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  31. "Does Humanity's Destiny Lie in Interstellar Space Travel? (Op-Ed)". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  32. "Incredible Technology: How to Make Interstellar Spaceflight a Reality". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  33. "Lasers Could Blast Tiny Spacecraft to the Stars". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  34. "NASA's 100-Year Starship Project Sets Sights on Interstellar Travel". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  35. "Boldly Go? Can Humanity Afford 'Star Trek'-Like Space Exploration?". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  36. "Chasing Wormholes: The Hunt for Tunnels in Space-Time". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  37. "Futuristic Interstellar Space Probe Idea Revisited". Space.com. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  38. Hope, Clover. "Aliens Real*". Jezebel. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  39. Editors, Big Think. "Project Icarus: An Interstellar Mission". Big Think. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  40. "A Quick Rundown of the Alcubierre "Warp Drive"". Futurism. 2017-01-23. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  41. "What Is the Alcubierre "Warp" Drive?". Electronic Component News. 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  42. "Space Experts Review EMDrive and give recommendations at Centauri Dreams | NextBigFuture.com". NextBigFuture.com. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  43. "Foxconn heading to nearly fully automated factories | NextBigFuture.com". NextBigFuture.com. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  44. "Icarus Interstellar has the X-Physics Propulsion & Power Project (XP4) and Mark Rademaker's visuals of based on the technical work of Sonny White | NextBigFuture.com". NextBigFuture.com. 2014-08-16. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  45. "All About Space Travel, Time Travel, Quantum Tunneling & Zero-G Sex - h+ Media". h+ Media. 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  46. "New Book: Warp Speed, Maybe". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  47. Scoles, Sarah (2015-03-20). "As we begin to think of exoplanets as real worlds we could visit, we will want to go | Sarah Scoles". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  48. "Next stop, Alpha Centauri|Sunday Life|chinadaily.com.cn". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  49. Kakaes, Konstantin (2011-10-05). "The 40-Year Itch". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  50. Stirn, Alexander (2011-06-21). "Interstellare Reise: Pentagon plant Jahrhundert-Raumschiff". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2018-02-22.

External links[edit]

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