TVIW Announces Peter Klupar of Breakthrough Starshot, and his talk “Are We Alone?” at the October 4-6, 2017 meeting!

Pete Klupar, Chief Engineer of the Breakthrough Initiatives, will lead a talk on the work the Breakthrough Foundation is doing to help humanity investigate the possibility of life forms on other planets, and how scientists can get involved.

The Star Shot initiative — a plan to send a spacecraft to another star system in the next 25 years — will be the main topic of the presentation. Mr. Klupar will also discuss the foundation’s other major initiatives: Listen and Watch. Listen is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence using RF (1 GHz to 30Ghz) and visible light. Watch is the search for earth-sized planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars.

Prior to his role at the Breakthrough Foundation, Mr. Klupar was Director of Engineering at NASA’s Ames Research Center. While at Ames he helped develop the Aquila, LADEE, TESS, Pharmasat, OREO and other small spacecraft missions while aiding in the development and operations of Kepler and SOFIA projects.

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TVIW announces STEM Scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students

The non-profit Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, now preparing for its fifth aerospace symposium in October 2017, has announced a new program to annually provide two undergraduate scholarships and one graduate-student scholarship for qualifying students.

The $2,500 scholarships, sponsored by TVIW supporters Baen Books and Digital Oilfield Solutions, are merit-based, and require applicants to complete an essay with their application forms. The deadline for all applications is May 15.

Applicants for the undergraduate scholarships must be high school seniors in the southeast United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina or Virginia) who plan to pursue their first undergraduate degree in mathematics, engineering or science at any accredited, four-year American college or university. Applicants for the graduate scholarship must be full-time college or university students majoring in math, engineering or the physical or social sciences, and must plan to seek a graduate degree in science from an accredited college or university in any of the nine southeast American states.

“The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop was created to foster and assist the study, research and experimentation necessary to make human interstellar travel a reality, with untold benefits to life on Earth,” said TVIW President John Preston. “We can imagine no better way to demonstrate that goal than the creation of these scholarships, helping new generations of thinkers, builders and explorers to set their sights on the stars.”

For more information about the new scholarships, including application guidelines, visit our scholarships page.

To learn more about TVIW scholarship sponsors, visit:

More about TVIW

The fifth TVIW symposium, “Step By Step: Building a Ladder to the Stars,” is set for Oct. 4-6, 2017, in Huntsville, Alabama. The symposium, in partnership with Starship Century and Tau Zero Foundation, seeks to unite aerospace technologists, communicators, psychologists, anthropologists, and other researchers and visionaries to chart the future of humanity’s interstellar adventure. TVIW 2017 is seeking proposals for papers, seminars and workshops. For details, visit our submissions page.

 Connect with TVIW organizers and participants via social media:

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TVIW announces a Call for Participation in the October 4-6, 2017 Meeting

HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA — The Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop, in partnership with Starship Century and Tau Zero Foundation, seeks contributions for its upcoming fifth symposium from aerospace technologists, communicators, psychologists, anthropologists, and other researchers and visionaries whose work could vitally impact the future of humanity’s interstellar adventure.

The TVIW conference, titled “Step By Step: Building a Ladder to the Stars,” will be held Oct. 4-6, 2017, at the Embassy Suites in Huntsville, Alabama. The workshop was founded in 2011 by NASA physicist and author Les Johnson; physicist, educator, and author Dr. Greg Matloff; and professional engineer and businessman Robert Kennedy III.

TVIW 2017 seeks proposals for plenary talks, papers and posters; interdisciplinary working tracks; seminars; and Sagan workshops. Named for visionary researcher Dr. Carl Sagan, the latter include a combination of short presentations, panel discussions, and general floor debate — an approach adopted by TVIW for the first time for 2017. Complete details about each are available online:

“It’s our mission to bring together as many practical, grounded professional minds as possible to pursue the multifaceted challenges of journeying beyond Earth’s solar system,” said TVIW President John Preston. “We seek not just technical solutions to achieve long-distance, long-duration spaceflight but also a proper, holistic understanding of the expectations, potential impact, and long-term value associated with such missions.”

Letters of intent for working tracks and ideas for Sagan workshops are due March 3, 2017. Abstracts for plenary talks, papers, and posters are due April 30, 2017. Additional deadlines and requirements are detailed on the website.

TVIW partners with Starship Century, an interstellar starship development symposium coordinated by the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination in San Diego, California, and Tau Zero Foundation, a coalition of scientists, engineers, journalists, artists, and science fiction writers seeking to expand the boundaries of conventional research and pursue practical, high-value solutions for interstellar exploration.

Sponsors of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop for 2017 include Baen Books, Digital Oilfield Solutions, and the Huntsville Alabama L5 (HAL5) Society, a chapter of the National Space Society (NSS).

Learn more about TVIW online, and connect via social media:

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