The Far-Out Summit Where Geniuses Learn to Build Starships

“Kennedy III is one of TVIW’s cofounders, and he describes the meeting as a place for reality-based discussions about technologies that will help humans reach other star systems. “Reality-based” means do not bring your warp drives, your wormholes, your bullshit equations that let you skip through the universe on theoretical physics. If you want to talk propulsion, keep it sub-bullshit. Do bring your: latest idea for mining rocket fuel from asteroids; proposal for gigantic solar-powered orbital lasers; thermodynamic equations for making it rain inside a starship.

This is the fourth (non-annual) TVIW, and its theme is “From Iron Horse to Worldship.” Choo Choo! Get it? But that construction also illustrates the scope of technological challenge. As another TVIW cofounder—NASA physicist Les Johnson—put it, the mothballed locomotive in the Choo Choo’s backyard is better equipped for steaming to Tokyo than a modern rocket is for interstellar travel…”

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