Project Icarus

LeTourneau University Science Seminar

September 8, 2011

Glaske C101, 11:00 am


Richard K. Obousy Ph.D, MPhys, FBIS
Module Lead Primary Propulsion
Project Icarus Study Group
Longview, Texas



Project Icarus: A 21st Century Interstellar Starship Study

Inspired by Project Daedalus, Project Icarus is a volunteer five year theoretical design study for an interstellar starship that would reach a nearby star in a journey time of 100 years or less. The purpose of Project Icarus is: 1. To motivate a new generation of scientists in designing space missions that can explore beyond our solar system, 2. To generate greater interest in the real term prospects for interstellar precursor missions that are based on credible science, 3. To design a credible interstellar probe that is a concept design for a potential mission and to provide an assessment of the technological maturity of fusion based space propulsion for future precursor missions.

The project was launched in September of 2009 and, to date, the team has invested an estimated 10,000 person hours to the project. In this talk I present an overview of Project Icarus including the initial motivations, the technical direction and some early results