Space Initiatives Inc Awarded NASA NIAC Phase I Grant to Further Develop Interstellar Exploration

Artist’s impression of three Coracle laser sail probes passing through the Proxima Centauri System.

Will work with Institute for Interstellar Studies-US, Inc. to demonstrate coherent swarming for exploration by picospacecraft over interstellar distances

“With laser beaming, in a few decades it should be possible to send our gram-mass “Laser Coracle” probes to nearby stars, such as the M-dwarf Proxima Centauri.”

— Marshall Eubanks

TITUSVILLE, FL, US, June 5, 2024 / — Space Initiatives Inc, a leader in the development of extremely small space vehicles, announced today that NASA has awarded the Company a NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts) Phase I grant to research and develop operationally coherent swarms of small spacecraft. At the announcement of the award, Mike LaPointe, NIAC program executive at NASA Headquarters at the time mentioned this, saying “The diversity of this year’s Phase I projects – from quantum sensors observing Earth’s atmosphere to a coordinated swarm of spacecraft communicating from the next star – is a testament to the truly innovative community reached by NIAC.”

“With laser beaming, in a few decades it should be possible to send our gram-mass “Laser Coracle” probes to nearby stars, such as the M-dwarf Proxima Centauri,” said Marshall Eubanks, Chief Scientist of Space Initiatives. “We particularly want to look for signs of alien biology, or even technosignatures, on Proxima-b, a terrestrial-mass planet in its habitable zone. With large, coordinated, swarms of tiny spacecraft we can do that, both by acquiring gigapixel images of the target planet, and by expediting the return of that data back to Earth.”

“At the Institute for Interstellar Studies-US (I4IS-US) we are excited about working with Space Initiatives in demonstrating the concept of operational coherence, which uses the principle of E pluribus unum (“Out of many, one”). This convert transforms a large number of miniscule spacecraft, launched one at a time, into swarm moving a single networked entity that knows where each member is and acts together, generating from numerous coordinated tiny blinks, like fireflies, a flash bright enough to be seen across the light- years to a telescope here, like interferometry in reverse,”said Robert Kennedy, President of I4IS-US. This technology should have many applications, from low earth orbit to Mars and beyond, enabling the delivery of equipment and communication arrays across space domains at a fraction of the cost using traditional larger spacecraft, while increasing the rate of technological progress, rather like the Cambrian Explosion in the history of life on Earth.

About Space Initiatives Inc

Founded in 2018, Space Initiatives Inc (SII) develops small nano- and picospacecraft products, including “Mote” penetrators and “Pankos” boxes for lunar exploration, providing functionalities including mesh networking and navigation beacons. Laser Coracles will extend these capabilities into deep space.

About I4IS-US Inc

The US Institute for Interstellar Studies Inc, a non-profit incorporated in April 2014, was set up “to advance the realization of interstellar exploration through various educational, research and entrepreneurial activities.”

James Wolff, Media & Public Relations
Space Initiatives Inc
+1 917-687-6045
[email protected] 
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