Loncon3 day 5 Monday 18 August

Our last day and a sad farewell – what a great Worldcon – and a rip-roaring success for I4IS (i4is.org)

Monolith being disassembled Farewell, fair monolith, when will we see your like again?


Loncon3 day 4 Sunday 17 August

Our big conference day –
House Full AR KFL panel KCDSC_0631Here’s the panel with Keith Cooper moderating the discussion and Alastair Reynolds @AquilaRift and Kelvin Long, our Exec Director, @thestarshipman in the foreground

It was a full house with many disappointed fans outside



Loncon3 day 2 Friday 15 August

Our first full day and 3 winners of our beautiful art postcards – subscribe to our e-zine Principium at the Interstellar Space in the Exhibits Hall – look south west from the fan bar and see our monolith!

MonolithFromBarDSC_0609That’s the black thing at the upper level





Its big!Monolith14AugChrisWelch








And full of images ISSonMonolithDSC_0617

Building the Monolith


Here is our monolith under test. The HD definition is hard to see here but we found it hard to see the pixels on our 3m high screen.

This shot is part of the material by those great guys at DMT Lab, Frank Da Silva and Mark Raimondeau.

As you see were fighting bright sunlight through the windows at Elizabeth House where we tested. Excel is not so bright and we will have the advantage of the brilliant Philips lighting system – which allows individual control of every light.








Time to let you into our build effort for the stand at Loncon3! Here are some shots of our builders, Terry and Paul, and their magnificent object –

Terry using his 85kilos to show how strong it is

Terry using his 85kilos to show how strong it is

Its strong










– and its big –

Paul in front of the completed structure

Paul in front of the completed structure

They have already begun to add cladding – more when its done!


On_the_Steel_Breeze_Alastair_ReynoldsOur half-day conference programme at Loncon3 examines relationships between science fiction and realistic possibilities for interstellar travel. It kicks off at 13.30 on Sunday 17 August

British SF maestro Alastair Reynolds is our featured presenter.

Here’s the whole show!

13.30: Kelvin F. Long “Interstellar – realities and imagination – how Arthur C Clarke reached the stars in imagination – and how his fiction continues to inspire plausible designs”
Kelvin F Long is a physicist, aerospace engineer, author and entrepreneur and is the Executive Director of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS).

14.00: Richard Osborne “I4IS: Science Fiction Starships as real engineering – will they work and when?”
Richard Osborne is a consultant rocket engineer and chair of the Technical Committee of the British Interplanetary Society (BIS)

14.30: Keith Cooper “Taking the Initiative – Why We Have To Start Planning for an Interstellar Future Now And Why You Should Be a Part of It”
Keith Cooper is editor of Astronomy Now magazine and a member of the Board of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS).

15.00: Professor Chris Welch “100 Years to Interstellar Travel – The International Space University’s interdisciplinary project to define a century-long roadmap to interstellar travel”
Chris Welch is Professor of Space Engineering at the International Space University (ISU), Vice President of the British Interplanetary Society and Deputy Chair of the I4IS Advisory Committee

15.30: Dr Rachel Armstrong “Living Starships: How life and machines can explore the cosmos in partnership
Rachel Armstrong is a Co-Director of AVATAR (Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research) in Architecture & Synthetic Biology at The School of Architecture & Construction, University of Greenwich, London and a 2010 Senior TED Fellow

16.00: Alastair Reynolds “Far Centaurus – the pros and cons of interstellar travel in science fiction”
Alastair Reynolds is our foremost writer of SF on interstellar themes. He was a space scientist at ESTEC, Noordwijk. He turned from studying pulsars and binary stars to fiction. He is the author of twelve novels and more than fifty short stories. His work has been short-listed for the Hugo and Arthur C Clarke awards, and has won the Seiun and Sidewise awards. His work combines hard science based on extrapolated hard physics and engrossing story-telling to rival the space opera of our much-missed GoH, Iain M Banks. His Revelation Space series is set mostly in a future where plausible interstellar travel is well established. His most recent books, the Poseidon’s Children sequence, are set in a nearer future with humanity just achieving interstellar capability.

16.30 PANEL : Keith Cooper (Chair) “Interstellar panel session and summing up
An opportunity to question the presenters and put your own point of view. I4IS will also invite its many friends in Science Fiction and Space Technology to contribute – and to be both original and controversial as we envisage our Interstellar future.