Interstellar Research Group

Written by Charlie Copeland

The Interstellar Research Group (IRG), previously known as the 100 Year Starship, is an organization dedicated to the pursuit of capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system to the nearest stars within the next century. The initiative underscores an ambitious goal of achieving interstellar flight by the year 2100. Founded with the support of DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and NASA, among other contributors, the IRG aims to inspire and propel humanity beyond its current boundaries, essentially laying the groundwork for future generations to explore the stars.

The IRG works through a combination of research, public outreach, and interdisciplinary collaboration to address the vast array of challenges associated with interstellar travel. This includes not just the technological hurdles such as propulsion, life support, and energy requirements, but also the societal, economic, and ethical implications of extending humanity's reach into the cosmos. The organization fosters a global dialogue on interstellar travel, encouraging innovation across scientific, engineering, artistic, and literary communities to think beyond traditional boundaries and contribute to the overarching vision of interstellar exploration.

While not exclusively an educational entity, the Interstellar Research Group promotes educational initiatives and engages with the academic community through conferences, seminars, and publications. These activities serve not only to disseminate research findings and foster discussions on interstellar topics but also to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and thinkers to pursue careers and hobbies that could one day contribute to turning the dream of interstellar travel into reality. Through its visionary objectives and interdisciplinary approach, the IRG plays a pivotal role in charting a course for the future of human exploration, pushing the envelope of what is possible, and ensuring that the dream of reaching the stars remains a driving force for innovation and discovery.


Interstellar Research Group Doctoral Graduate College Scholarship Program

Multiple awards worth
Grade Level
Graduate Students

The scholarships (including the Tim Bolgeo Memorial Scholarship) are sponsored by IRG supporters Baen Books and Rob and Ruann Hampson are merit-based, and require applicants to complete an essay with their application forms.

Applicants for the...