Have you given becoming a Starship Engineer serious thought? Then either or both of two key one day lectures could be for you.
Kelvin F. Long, who is a physicist and aerospace engineer, Chief Editor Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, author of the book “Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to the Stars” and the Executive Director i4is is one of the lecturers who will be running these workshops as part of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society.
Also a guest lecturer, Rob Swinney is a former RAF Squadron Leader aerosystems engineer and is a Deputy Director of i4is.
Both lecturers have been involved in the creation and running of the only two modern starship design projects, Project Icarus (fusion) and Project Dragonfly (laser-sails).
Tuesday 24 November: Starship Engineer
This course aims to give you a basic grounding in interstellar studies. We go from considering the essential requirements to giving you an overview of different spacecraft systems. We then take you on a journey through several actual starship design studies, and show you how to calculate and evolve an interstellar machine. We will give a broad set of examples from the literature, but focus on two specific case studies, that of fusion propulsion and laser-sail propulsion, as plausible ways by which we may someday reach the distant stars.
Wednesday 25 November: Science Fiction Starships
The works of science fiction literature have produced many fascinating starship concepts, but how realistic are they? In this one day course we will examine texts such as laser-sails in “The Mote in Gods Eye (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle), Torch Ships in “Time for the Stars” (Robert Heinlein), Quantum Ramjets in “The Songs of Distant Earth” (Arthur C Clarke) and other inspirational examples of interstellar vessels. This course will teach you how to evaluate these ideas from the imagination and how to perform a physics and engineering assessment of their feasibility.
The courses are open to everyone and anyone is welcome to attend, but to participate in the design workshops it is recommended that you have some familiarity with basic mathematics and algebra.
Normal rate: £59 per day or £99 for the two days. Discounted rate: £49 per day or £79 for the two days; includes students and senior citizens. Lunch and coffee will be provided on the day for all attendees.
The venue is: The BIS HQ, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ