Feb 4, 2019

Interstellar Workshop 20-21 June 2019

Image Credit: NASA/ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)
Image Credit: NASA/ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

Interstellar travel has been the ultimate dream of amateur and professional space scientists alike ever since the dawn of the space age. The vision of how humanity may one day not only leave Earth but travel across the galaxy captures minds not only because of its futurism, but also because of its implications. Though this is still a distant goal pushing the boundary between science fiction, speculation and science fact, it is of interest taking stock on where we are technically and with our understanding how we might achieve such a voyage which would be unlike any voyage humans have taken so far. It might redefine both what we are, and what we intend to become.

In anticipation of an upcoming issue of our Acta Futura journal on Interstellar Exploration, a two-day workshop will take place on 20-21 June 2019 in Erasmus Highbay at ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands. The workshop will feature input lectures by invited experts, panel and participant-driven discussions, provide ample opportunity for exploring and exchanging new ideas, to stimulate unconventional thinking about space research and to spark novel ideas for future distant space exploration. It will bring together experts and interested professionals and students from a broad range of disciplines, with the following anchor topics:

  • Advanced propulsion technologies for interstellar probes
  • Communication for interstellar exploration
  • Concepts and ideas surrounding world ships: sociology, ethics, anthropology, language development
  • Technologies and measure to keep humans alive, healthy and productive during long duration spaceflight


  • Advanced Concepts Team – Settlers of the Galaxy
  • Jürgen Bereiter-Hahn – Hibernation
  • Pontus Brandt - A Pragmatic Interstellar Probe in the 2030s
  • Theodore Hall – Artificial gravity
  • Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger – Habitability design for extreme environments
  • Andreas Hein – World ships: feasibility and rationale
  • Elke Hemminger – Sociology of interstellar exploration: social order and power structures
  • Michael Hippke – Interstellar communication
  • Ugo Lafont – Self-healing materials
  • Philipp Lubin – Photon propulsion (TBC)
  • Javier Medina – Cultivation systems for long duration human spaceflight
  • Jeffrey Punske – Language development on generation ships
  • Rob Swinney – Fusion propulsion
  • Angelo Vermeulen – Evolvable spacecraft
  • Marco Volponi – Life support systems
  • Michael Waltemathe – Ethics and sociology of interstellar exploration


Participants who wish to attend are required to register free of charge until 18 Jun 2019 (23:59 CET). To register, and for further information, updates and the programme, please visit the conference web page.


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Advanced Concepts Team