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Interstellar Initiatives (I²)

Human exploration of the outer solar system and on to the stars will require significant advances beyond the performance characteristics currently representative of state of the art for spacecraft power and propulsion systems. LSI is offering a series of research grants with a purely theoretical emphasis (tactical grant) and with an empirical focus (strategic grant), each geared towards making meaningful progress towards the goal of exploring the stars.

IMPORTANT DATES

Abridged Proposal Deadline

May, 5 2020

Full Proposal Deadline

May 21, 2020

Proposal Review Period

May 21 – July 3, 2020

GRANT PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

July 24, 2020 – January 16, 2022

TACTICAL GRANT

This process may incorporate detailed computer analysis by custom or commercial software to explore and evaluate performance characteristics of concepts based on nascent theoretical models.

STRATEGIC GRANT

Strategic grant awards are the laboratory focus of the initiative, and will require more resources. These strategic awards will incorporate theoretical elements based on emerging physics models.

Brian K Kelly

Brian Kelly retired from NASA in February 2019 after a career of over 37 years.  As Director, Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) he directed a diverse civil service, military, and contractor workforce of over 2400 employees and a total annual budget of $500m.  He was responsible for selecting and assigning NASA astronauts and planning, training, and flying human spaceflight and aviation missions.  He directed the Astronaut Office, Mission Control, Aircraft Operations and Aviation Safety at NASA JSC.  Over his career he supported 110 shuttle missions, 58 International Space Station Expeditions, 40 shuttle launches, and 35 Soyuz Launches as well as return to flight efforts following the Challenger and Columbia accidents.  He selected 12 new astronaut candidates from over 18,000 applicants and selected the first female Chief Flight Director and 11 new Flight Directors for Mission Control Operations.  While Director of Flight Operations he was responsible for 35 EVAs (space walks), 15 International Space Station Expeditions, over 2.5 million mission control commands to the International Space Station, and the assignment of 33 astronauts to Expedition and Commercial Crew Flight Test missions.  He directed over 13,000 flight hours composed of 18,000 sorties in 32 different aircraft.  He personally has flown over 250 flight hours in T-38N super-sonic jet training aircraft and over 63,000 feet in WB-57 high altitude research aircraft.

Kam Ghaffarian

Dr. Kam Ghaffarian is a visionary entrepreneur dedicated to creating companies that focus on operating with the highest integrity, promoting employee well-being, and delivering the best technical solutions to customers. Kam co-founded Axiom Space in 2016 to advance the commercial utilization of space eventually leading to the design, manufacture, launch and operation of a commercial space station. Kam started his entrepreneurial career in 1994 by founding Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT), a government services company focusing on Engineering, IT, Science Applications, and Mission Operations. SGT has become NASA’s second largest engineering services provider, employing over 2,400 people and generating annual revenues of approximates $500M. Prior to SGT, Kam held numerous technical and management positions at Lockheed Martin, Ford Aerospace, and Loral, among others. Dr. Ghaffarian holds a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Electronics Engineering, a M.Sc. in Information Management, and a Ph.D in Management Information Systems.

Board of directors

DESIGN

Amanda Lee

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social

Adam Cheise

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Present

Mike Stuart

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Advisory Board

DESIGN

Amanda Lee

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social

Adam Cheise

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Present

Mike Stuart

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Present

Mike Stuart

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GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS

Interstellar Initiatives Grant Solicitation 

Application period will begin December 2019. Come back soon.

OUR GOAL

LSI is helping to grow the capabilities of the interstellar research community. Individuals in academia who are interested in working in this domain will, upon successfully winning a grant, be able to shift from a mode of avocation to vocation with the award providing the means and motivation to pursue research – all the while satisfying university requirements to win research grants and publish papers.

Grant Requirements for Application form;

  • Pursuing a BS in STEM field or currently working in the field.
  • 1 letter of Recommendation from non-academic relationship
  • Essay; Goals and intended use of Grant funds.