100 Year Starship Symposium, 'astronaut teacher' Mike Mongo proposed a bold shift in direction of the international space program: Involving kids in plans for space.
"We as adults must stop thinking of ourselves as potential astronauts and star pilot-hopefuls;
"Let us think of moving to space as a multi-generational initiative,"
Mike Mongo is the author of
The 100 Year Starship (100YSS) is an initiative fostered by Defense Advanced Research Projects (DARPA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The idea behind the 100YSS initiative is to propel humankind to another star system within approximately 100 years of its conception in 2010. The initiative is inspired by the approximately 100 years it was between the 1865 publishing of author Jules Verne's From The Earth to the Moon and of humankind's subsequent traveling to the moon in the 1960's.
Last year, DARPA and NASA sponsored the first 100 Year Starship Symposium in Orlando, FL. Participants were invited to apply for a $500,000 award to be used for seed money funding. At the completion of the proposal period, the award was won by astronaut Dr Mae Jemison's Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, along with Icarus Interstellar and Foundation for Enterprise Excellence as partner organizations. This year's 100 Year Starship Symposium was the first run by the newly-selected 100YSS team.
In wrapping up his presentation before the Symposium audience, Mike Mongo reminded the room that realizing kids as the builders of starships is "a secret we all forget....as adults we must accept our role to be played in history and explain to kids today from all backgrounds this simple but powerful message: 'You are going to be the next-generation of astronauts. From space you are going to be building the ships to take humankind to the stars. You are going to get to work live and play in space. And you need to get ready.'"
For more information,
contact Mike Mongo