Guide to Intergalactic Travel


If you are serious about IGT, then get in contact. If not, this is not for you.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that this is a project for the far future or even the near future. We hope to succeed not just in our lifetimes but soon.

And don't think that because you aren't Einstein that you can't help this project. Einstein worked in a patent office. And a physics lab once gave a university position to a guy who repaired elevators because he came up with an idea they hadn't thought of.

replica of the Mayflower - anchored at modern day Plymouth, Massachusetts

credit: Paul Keleher

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Course Charted

One day we all will be Pilgrims to another galaxy.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Alcubierre drive


A Long Way from Hyperluminal - but . . .

superluminal is faster than light

Supernova PTF 11kly - in the Pinwheel Galaxy

If looking through your own scope, it is in the Big Dipper. (For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, read on.)

Otherwise, try to get a feed over the internet from a big scope like Palomar or Hubble.

Coming Soon

correction: Here

1. ship design

2. ship building

3. propulsion concepts

4. research

Please comment if there are approaches other than the usual biggies:

1. relativistic approaches to IGT

2. IGT via wormholes

3. folding space

4. none of the above

Rollout - new departments

These new departments will be coming out at an agonizingly slow pace at first, but contribute ideas and the pace will accelerate --

1. ship design

2. ship building

3. propulsion concepts

Ship Design

1. conventional designs -- rocket configurations and aerospaceplane configurations. Think Nineteen Fifties with rockets landing on their tails, vertical take off and landing. Or think of hypersonic transports and National Aero Space Plane, horizontal take off and landing.

2. pure space designs -- no heat shields required since there would be no entry or reentry into any atmosphere, think Institute for Advanced Study concepts, Bussard collectors, Freeman Dyson's work and the British Interplanetary Society's ideas for interstellar travel

3. post-interstellar travel designs -- ideas since the heyday of the BIS

4. science fiction designs -- sure these guys seem more off into sword & sorcery fantasy these days and maybe science fiction is dead (certainly the Golden Age of Science Fiction has passed). Star Wars? There is no sound in space. Generation ships? Oh please. Like humans can think about next week much less about the next generation. Otherwise, we would already have done something about reversing global warming. Star Trek? Maybe. Those guys do think a lot about technical matters. Though I doubt if even antimatter and dilithium crystals will deliver the velocity we need.. Firefly? Those guys gave up on better government (the Alliance is like our governments today, it tortures teen agers and children), winning star wars (the Browncoats and Independents lost) and, worst of all, getting much beyond nearby stellar systems. One compliment though, those Firefly guys understand the importance of terraforming and that humans do not want to live in tin cans (space stations). Even the Mercury astronauts used to joke about being spam in a can. I was never a big fan of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda so I don't know if they came up with any useful ideas as far as ship design goes. I did pick up on the fact that the Andromeda Ascendant had an artificial intelligence but I do not know if the avatar (played by Lexa Doig) was a robot that one could physically touch or was an advanced hologram that one could touch like the emergency medical hologram doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. Frankly, I don't care too much about the information technology of a ship. I care about the engines that make it go. Babylon Five had jump gates and Vorlons with biological ships. More about this elsewhere in this lens. Lastly, Stargate considers intergalactic travel (almost alone in TV science fiction) but it is demoralizing with the "same old, same old' wars, parasites, wormholes, and lack of convincing speculation as to how IGT is engineered. Going to other galaxies just to fight still more wars is the biggest turn off of this disappointment. Apparently, writers in Hollywood cannot even conceive of a universe without war.

5. radical designs

Link List

Please note: these links are for your convenience. Few (if any) of them share our interest in making IGT a reality. Be forewarned.

In the near future, we will create our own professional societies to serve our own needs.

Intergalactic Travel 101

the basics

Who: scientists and engineers welcome (others will have to prove their worth to the group)

What: intergalactic travel at hyperluminal speeds (meaning faster than the range termed superluminal or FTL). In practical terms, this means faster than one billion celeritas (that's the C in E=mc squared). If you cannot travel from the Milky Way to another galaxy in under ten years (even in suspended animation or cryo-hibernation) then why bother? Ten years is a lot of time to be out of it. Voyages that took months were barely tolerable back in the last Age of Exploration therefore years are intolerable to people like us used to things happening fast. Even intergalactic distances should not take centuries. One decade okay maybe but not longer than that.

When: screw doing this someday in the far distant future. If technology is so great and if we can land a man on the moon, we can do anything. So the time scale for getting a project like this organized is also within human time frame. By 2027 would be nice. While on the subject of time, Time Dilation Compensation Technology needs to be invented so that upon return an eternity had not passed. Otherwise, what's it all for? Go to another galaxy in ten years, back in ten years and on Earth twenty years has not passed. The Earth is long gone and everyone you knew is gone. Unacceptable.

Where: Andromeda might seem the obvious choice for destination but there are good cases to be made for other galaxies in the Local Group as destination. Triangulum, Maffei I, and Wolf Lundmark are some other choices. The little satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way are only practice missions for the big enchilada.

Why: There are over 200 reasons if you're interested in motivational psychology. Truth is we want to go because we want to go. Same as Mount Everest or any other destination.

How: Aye, there's the rub. The how is not just breakthroughs in science and macroengineering. It is also motivation and megafunding. This can't be done on the cheap but we aren't looking for taxpayer money. The moon has proven to us that taking public money is how you slow down projects. We don't want a penny of tax money because strings will be attached.

We don't appriove of everything in the Wiki article. Just threw it in for a primer.

Not That New

Although a lens about intergalactic travel is fairly new, the subject matter is not that new. People have been looking up at the Milky Way (the galaxy where the Solar System is located) since we possessed eyes that could focus. Possibly two million years.

Before light pollution and air pollution made it nearly impossible, people with sharp eyesight could see a dozen objects that were different. However, it was not until the time of Harlow Shapley and the observatory at Palomar that we knew that they were not meteors nor moons nor comets nor asteroids nor planets nor stars but galaxies. Galaxies are accumulations of billions of stars.

Besides the Milky Way of which we are a part, there are less than a dozen galaxies visible to the unaided eye in a very dark sky far from cities. The most obvious are the Magellanic Clouds. However, the Magellanic Clouds are just satellite galaxies. A satellite galaxy is exactly what you'd expect: a little galaxy (millions instead of billions of stars) that orbits a much bigger primary galaxy. The Milky Way has almost a dozen satellite galaxies. One is called (what else?) Snickers. Another set of the Milky Way's satellites are called collectively The Seven Dwarfs because they are dwarf galaxies. And the Magellanic Clouds are a set of three satellite galaxies: The Larger Magellanic Cloud or Nubecula Major, the Smaller Magellanic Cloud or Nubecula Minor, and the Remnant.

All is not boring in the region of the satellite galaxies. One of the first supernovas discovered was in The Magellanic Clouds. And intelligent life might possibly be there. Hope not though. It would cramp real estate speculation if politicians feel that the natives need to be exterminated before we can suburbanize intergalactic space.

And that brings us to the real reason for intergalactic travel: Peace. Science Fiction has programmed, inculcated, brainwashed, and otherwise drilled into our heads that as we explore The Milky Way we will be engaging in nonstop genocide. A field day for the fascists and Rudyard Kipling conservatives who want to kill everything that is alive and replace humans with dead metal terminators. Or anti-capitalists who want to tie space exploration in so many bureaucratic knots and red tape that freedom is impossible. Newsflash: it already is! If science fiction has pre-programmed the collective imagination to expect and to want genocide and star wars, then keep your starship and give me a galaxyship so that I can get as far away from the human race as possible. I promise I won't come back if you promise not to come looking for me. [If you do, I'll be ready.]

Intergalactic travel within our lifetimes (within the next forty years) is the audacious goal. You don't like it? Go away. We don't want your tax money. We'll finance it on our own. Just get out of our way and we'll leave quietly. Stand in our way and . . . . just read the headlines. Half the discontent on this planet could be solved with population reduction. And since the followers of medieval religions would rather have twenty children that they cannot feed and girls that they refuse to educate and since they refuse to practice the birth control and family planning that would lift them out of poverty, let's face it. The population is not going down anytime soon. That means we're killing Mother Earth. Some of us need to move to other worlds. Terraformed worlds. We're volunteering to go. And all we're asking is that the politicians (and NASA) get out of our way and let us leave. Change the laws and drop the taxes on space business. Don't delude yourself into thinking that the IRS is going to go where no man has gone before just to squeeze one cent of taxes out of some colony that may be in another stellar system or even another galaxy. Use your imagination. Different legal regime. New nations started not under the oppressive Patriot Act Earth.

The views expressed in this module do not reflect the views of the authors of other modules at The Guide to Intergalactic Travel.


the dream machines

A galaxyship is simply a ship designed to convey passengers from one galaxy to another. It is not simply a souped-up starship because a starship is not simply a souped-up planetship (Earth to Mars for example). Sleeper compartments and suspended animation sound, initially, to be what one would expect. However, who wants to be out of it for centuries or millennia or even millions of years? When you wake up, you're obsolete because society has passed you by. Faster ships built after you departed might pass you by also. So a practical galaxship has to have a transit time to say Andromeda of less than ten years.

Has to.

Any slower is intolerable. Faster is preferable. Hence the need for hyperluminal physics, which is the physics of velocities above one billion celeritas (lightspeed).

Also the need for technologies like time dilation compensation technology (TDCT) and inertia damping. Forget slowpoke Warp Ten starships. We're talking real speed.

In the near future, we will have a whole section just for designers of galaxyships. Starship designers: please do not apply.

Wanted: Hyperluminal Physicists

to talk here about hyperluminal physics or at a site of your choosing

The Extended Address

E-mail has made our world smaller and not always in good ways. There are children (and some adults) who do not know how to properly address an envelope as a result. Let's revive this lost art:

1 Your Street

Your Town, Your State or Province (or Prefecture)

Postal or Zip Code

Your Country

Your Continent (Oceania for instance)


Solar System

Vela Asterism

Orion Spur

Cygnus Arm

Milky Way Galaxy

Milky Way Multiplet

The Local Group

The Local Cluster

Ursa Major-Canes Venatici Cloud

Virgo Supercluster

Pisces-Cetus Complex

Melchiori's Universe

Our Multiverse

Our Pluriverse

The Cosmos

There is nothing bigger than the cosmos because (by definition) it is everything: all creation, heaven, hell, limbo, purgatory, everything but God the Creator. It might fascinate you to know that this cosmic address took years of research and includes the findings of astronomers as well as cutting edge theoretical work by astrophysicists and cosmologists. However, it is subject to updating. For example, our universe was formerly called Friedman's Universe based on that understanding of it. The Melchiori model may be dated. We stand corrected if that is appropriate.

Pray that you are never abducted by inconsiderate aliens who dump you on some world on the other side of creation. If so, memorizing this address could get you home. You don't want to sound stupid if a helpful extraterrestrial offers to take you home and you don't know where home is. Makes everybody from Earth look stupid.

ET: "Where are you from?"

You: "Earth.

ET: "What is that?"

You: "A planet."

ET: "Where is it?"

You: "In the Solar System."

So far so good. Your education might get you home.

ET: "In what galaxy?"

You: "The Milky Way. We're not in the Milky Way?"

ET: "No. Where is this Milky Way galaxy?"

There are more galaxies in the universe (trillions) than there are stars in the Milky Way (billions). You'll never get home because you don't know where home is. Most of us, if kidnapped and taken to a foreign country, could find our way back to our home country with help from strangers. Learn the cosmic address. You might be the first alien abductee to come home in one piece.

Vela Asterism

The Solar System

The Alpha Centauri System

The Barnard's Star System

The Nearest Stars

The Solar Neighbourhood

Centre of our Galaxy - (the Milky Way in case you've forgotten)


The Orion Spur

The Milky Way

The Milky Way
The Milky Way

arms of the Milky Way

Both images have:

1. Cygnus

2. Orion

3. Perseus

4. Sagittarius

But only the first one has Centaurus arm and the second image has Norma (which I have heard about since childhood) and Scutum-Crux (which I had never heard of except as a constellation). Do the officials in charge of naming astronomical objects even talk to each other?

There seems to be a consensus that our Solar System within the Vela Asterism is in the Orion Spur but I am not changing our cosmic address from Cygnus Arm until someone shows me that the astronomical authorities are in agreement on what arm we are in and the name of that arm.

arms of the Milky Way part 2

the usual suspects Perseus and Sagittarius but then, out of left field, we have:




Norma (which agrees with one of the other lists of arms)



I won't even speculate about the origin of the Carina name for an arm just yet but obviously Scutum and Crux had a nasty divorce with nasty name calling. One name sounds like you-know-what and the other sounds like you-know-what also. I guess he was with another gal . . . axy. Okay enough jokes.

Naming an arm "Local" is just plain lazy on the part of the astronomical nomenclature committee. We call the Local Group, the Local Group and that is enough. We let the Local Cluster slide but Local Arm is too much and too lazy. Decide which arm the Solar System & Vela Asterism is in and retire the term Local Arm. [While you are at it, retire the name Local Cluster and just leave Local Group since that came first as far as I know.]

I already recognized Norma above and so that leaves this Outer Arm. I speculate that it is possible that it is so wispy and thin with just rim worlds and dust and gas at the edge of the galaxy that few noticed it before now. I just hope that there is none of that stuff like in Star Trek where ships venturing out of the Milky Way hit a barrier, a third of the crew dies, most of the rest blackout and a few get super psychic powers and have to be killed or left on the nearest Class M planet. On the other hand, if such a barrier exists, then it would keep out pesky Kelvin invaders from Andromeda. If, I repeat if,a barrier of some sort exists, then it might be a galactopause as the Milky Way plows through the intergalactic medium (intergalactic space). It would be similar to the bow shock of the sun and it might be charged like the Van Allen radiation belt.

The Milky Way Multiplet - The Milky Way: It ain't much but it's home.

A multiplet is simply a primary galaxy and the satellite galaxies that orbit it. The Milky Way is the primary galaxy of the Milky Way Multiplet (no surprise there).

The satellites and their distance from Earth in kilo parsecs are:

Snickers - ?

Greater Magellanic (aka Larger Magellanic or Nubecula Major) - 54

Smaller Magellanic (Nubecula Minor) - 60

The Remnant - ?

Sculptor - 110

Ursa Minor - 67

Draco - 75

Carina - 85

Fornax - 130

Sextans - 85

Leo (I, II, III or IV) - ? (The problem here is not only distance but the fact that the name "Leo" has been slapped on so many astronomical objects.)

The Milky Way has about 18 satellite galaxies. Andromeda has about 19 satellites but Andromeda is much bigger than the Milky Way. I know it is not a competition but no one wants to be from a hick town galaxy when they are next door to the Big Apple (or Andromeda in this case). If it bothers anyone besides me, then we could always define the third Magellanic Cloud (the Remnant) as a satellite, get more research into this so-called Snickers satellite galaxy that I have heard rumored about for years, and we could simply claim NGC 2419 (globular) as a satellite if it is gravitationally bound to the Milky Way. It's a thought. And it would bring our satellite total to 21.

Of course, with our luck, Andromeda might have some more satellites hiding on its far side. In any case, we should not feel too bad because word is that Andromeda has too much radiation to be inhabitable by our species. Even the Kelvans are trying to escape from it. Just thought I'd toss in an in-joke for the Trek crowd.

The Large Magellanic - the most notable satellite galaxy of the Milky Way

stellar nursery in The Large Magellanic Cloud

Shhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

It took forever to get these babies to sleep.

nebula in The Large Magellanic Cloud

N44 region in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Boötes I (dwarf galaxy)

The Small Magellanic

and if somebody has an image of the third Magellanic (the Remnant), then we'll post it.

Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy

Fornax Dwarf

The Local Group

Center: lies between the Milky Way and Andromeda

Radius: one point five mega parsecs

[One parsec is 3.26 light years]

Diameter: three mega parsecs

Notable named members of the Local Group:

1. Milky Way Multiplet

Satellites: eleven known as of this writing

2. Andromeda-Triangulum Multiplet

Primaries: Andromeda and Triangulum

Satellites: include the Van den Bergh galaxies (And. I, And. II & And. III) and four others, seven total as of this writing

3. Wolf Lundmark Melotte

Note: this is one galaxy not three. It was named after the three astronomers who discovered it.

4. Barnard's Galaxy

Notes: It is named after E. E. Barnard who saw it as a nebula in his five-inch refractor (telescope) in 1884.

5. IC 1613

Note: also known as DDO 8

6. IC 10

7. The Pegasus Dwarf Galaxy

8. System 3

Note: also known as "Local Group System 3"

9. The Aquarius Dwarf Galaxy

10. IC 5152

11. Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy

12. Leo A

Note: not to be confused with the Leo dwarf galaxy that orbits the Milky Way

13. GR 8

Note: once thought to be part of another group, now officially a member of The Local Group

14. UGC-A86

Note: In 1990, discovered to be part of The Local Group by the Hale telescope. This proves that ground-based observatories can hold their own with space-based telescopes.

15. Regulus

16. Tucana Dwarf

Note: one of the newest discovered members of The Local Group

Maffei Multiplet

note: because of its relative motion and velocity, Maffei has been kicked out of official lists of members of the Local Group because it is not moving with the group independent of the "Hubble flow" (expansion of the universe).

NGC 247 and Sextans A (not to be confused with the Sextans dwarf galaxy that orbits the Milky Way) have also been classified as no longer members of The Local Group.


M 81 Group - the group nearest The Local Group

M 101 Group - dominated by the Pinwheel Galaxy

The Local Cluster consists of The Local Group (our home), The M 81 Group (the nearest neighboring group), and the M 101 Group (the most spectacular group around). In a future update of this module, we'll discuss the nearest cluster to The Local Cluster and other places we ought to visit in person instead of staring up through telescopes.

But first, we ought to get some idea of what's out there before we get aboard a galaxyship and step on the accelerator. Andromeda, it turns out, is a radiation hazard. It has long been regarded as the most obvious destination for the first intergalactic voyage. I am calling that into question. Maybe Triangulum is a better destination. Maybe Maffei is a better destination. I think we'll visit Snickers or the Magellanic Clouds as a warm-up for the real power trips. Just like we visited the moon before we set our sights on Mars.

You less venturesome souls out there are saying: "Let's go to Alpha Centauri or Proxima Centauri before even thinking about intergalactic travel." Do I need to remind you that the Europeans went around the world before anybody thought to go to the North Pole? The North Pole is considerably closer to Portugal or Spain than the antipodes. And the Magellanic Clouds are named for that circumnavigator.

You want to go to Mars? Build your planetship. You want to go to Alpha Centauri? Build your starship. But this place is for galaxyship builders. We make no apologies for that.

Local Group

Local Group

Local Group

nearest groups to the Local Group

Note that in this map that Maffei is kicked out of the Local Group and is in a group of its own. Why can't the cartographers get Maffei situated and settled?

Explanation: Earth is a rim world. The Solar System of which our planet is a part is situated on the outskirts of the Milky Way. The Maffei galaxy is in an inconvenient direction in that when we point our telescopes toward Maffei and its satellites, the heart of our own galaxy is in the way. With all that blinding light and all those stars and dust clouds in the way, how did we even discover Maffei in the first place?

One, very dark skies. It was discovered in 1967 before light pollution got really bad. Two, telescope of at least thirty centimeters,

I know what you are thinking. The Milky Way on a moonless night does not seem all that bright. In fact, it seems rather faint. Yes, that is the dust clouds. It would be very bright looking toward the center without them. Maffei I (not Maffei 2) itself would be as obvious as our moon and look as large if not for the dust.

The Local Group & neighboring groups

The Local Group & neighboring groups
The Local Group & neighboring groups

The Virgo Supercluster


Pisces-Cetus Complex

Pisces-Cetus Complex

Photographic Negative

complexes tend to be arranged along filaments - and most of the visible universe is affected by The Great Attractor (hidden by dark matter)

Maps at the level of larger than one billion light years (1 Billion LY) tend to be hazy at best.

The Universe within 2 billion Light Years

A Note on Astronomy & News

1. Space is neither flat nor two-dimensional but even professional astronomers treat it as if it were.

2. Space has at least three spatial dimensions. [We are not concerned right now with time]

3. If two objects appear in the telescope or an astronomical photo, only a fool would assume that the two objects are close to each other but this is exactly the sort of thing that the conventional approach to astronomy encourages.

4. Astrology is not science. It is pseudo-science for people who flunked real science in school.

5. The teaching of the astrological zodiac and other constellations to children can retard their understanding of space. The stars of the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper are not near each other in three-dimensional space. Only rarely are the stars in constellations actually near each other. The Pleiades is one of those exceptions. Each culture of ancient Earth had its own constellations in the night sky. It is like seeing shapes in cumulus clouds on a fair day. If we were dreaming up constellations today, we would see cell phones and computers.

6. The only real use of constellations is in orienteering and navigation. If we traveled to the far side of the Milky Way from us, all our familiar "constellations" would be gone because the relative positions of stars would have changed. This is not true of galaxies. They would still be in the same direction in the night sky if we looked at them from a planet on the far side of the Milky Way.

7. We are inside the Milky Way. We have photos of other galaxies but no complete photo of the Milky Way. We are pretty sure that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy like Andromeda and similar in appearance to it. We do not know for sure. What you see in a very dark sky is the disk edge on looking towards the center of our galaxy. That's what the Romans called "The Milky Way" and how our home galaxy got its name.

8. We would need to travel in perpendicular fashion at right angles above the plane of the Milky Way to properly take its picture. We did not have a whole Earth photo until the Apollo astronauts went to the moon and were therefore sufficiently far away to get the whole planet in one photo. If not for that photo, we might not have an environmental movement. Green. Clean air. Clean water. That's a good thing. Can you imagine what impact the first photo of the Milky Way will have? It might stop wars. The real trick is getting everybody in the Milky Way to say cheese when galactonauts take the picture.

9. Beware the word "cluster" whenever you encounter it in astronomy. Stellar astronomers use it several ways when talking about little objects within the Milky Way. Extragalactic astronomers use it to mean big geographic objects larger than the Local Group. The Local Group is part of the Local Cluster. Clusters aggregate into clouds. Clouds aggregate into superclusters. Superclusters aggregate into complexes. And about two dozen or so complexes make up the known universe. The best book on space geography is Galaxies by Timothy Ferris. [Needless to say, extragalactic astronomers abuse the word "cloud" the same way they misapply cluster. Follow the guidelines I offer and you will stay sane and not tear out your hair in frustration.]

10. On top of bad astronomy education is bad astronomy reporting. The news adds to the chaos when they report: "Astronomers have discovered the most distant object yet." Okay. What type of object? A black hole, a quasar, a galaxy, a supercluster, what? What is the object called? What name has it been assigned in case you want to Google it? What observatory or astronomer or team discovered it? Is it as distant as the Red Limit? Put it in context. Where is the object? In what supercluster is it located? Which way do I point my telescope? Got a three-D map? Why are you reporting this? Is it just to frustrate amateur astronomers or is it to make people who are not professional astronomers feel stupid? How do we get more information? Is the information at ABC News dot com or CBS News dot com or NBC News dot com or CNN? This is what goes through my mind when I hear an extragalactic astronomy report on the news.

Dear CEO of news organization,

Do not insult the intelligence of the public. Do not act as if the average Joe or Jane is not interested in the universe. Taxpayers, voters, citizens, civilians, and just plain people read NASA the riot act when it proposed to decommission The Hubble. That's our property! That's our window on the universe. Don't you dare deny us The High Frontier. This country was built on the frontier. And, apparently, people all over the world love The Hubble as much as we do. And if I was starving to death, I would give my last penny to keep it in orbit. So Mister Head of News Organization, don't talk down to us! Don't toss out random trivia. Give us space news in an organized manner.


John Q. Public.




the Antennae galaxies

link to pan of Antennae

If I could embed the AVI, I would. This will have to do for now.

the Black-Eye galaxy

the Cartwheel galaxy

the Sombrero galaxy


the Whirlpool galaxy

They named the appliances after this one if you go by the TV commercials shown in the Nineteen Sixties.

A Ring Galaxy

A Polar Ring Galaxy

more IGT 101

basic concepts:

1. motivation - reasons to go

2. macroengineering

3. mega-funding - We're not going to talk about this much at this lens except to say that we don't want tax money or any money from government or military.

4. all previous propulsion concepts are too slow.


Reasons to Go

1. There is, ultimately, only one reason to go. Because we want to.

2. What if the survival of humanity depended upon being able to get out of The Milky Way before it's too late? We could not count on any alien civilizations letting us stowaway if they didn't have enough ships or ships with enough range for their own people. [included for the SETI crowd]

3. What if intergalactic travel made the human race filthy rich and no longer the poor relation among species in the Milky Way? What if we no longer had to put up with having citizens of Earth abducted to God-knows-where for unmentionable probes leaving family to wonder what happened to them? [included for the ufology crowd]

4. Historically, advances in transportation have always triggered progress for the average person. Do you think spices, citrus fruit, potatoes and other improvements in diet and health would have reached Europe without world-circling ships? Sure, centuries too late by older methods of transportation. [included for historians & history buffs]

5. Got a well-thought-out reason to travel beyond our galaxy? Post it here.

Growing pains: There is now a separate lens just for this topic.

Things You Can Do Right Now to Make It So

1. save your pennies

2. post something on this lens

3. tinker in your basement or garage workshop. Many times, engineers work at home before moving their work to big industrial labs.

4. got paper, pencil, blackboard, brain? That's all you need to do theoretical work.

5. design on your computer or other tools for 3-D modeling

6. organize

7. find a nation friendly to IGT research and development (the USA sure isn't)

8. donate something that would help this project (land, buildings, office equipment, your time)

9. volunteer your time

Technology Needed to Be Invented

1. TDCT - time dilation compensation

2. inertia dampers

3. artificial gravity

4. FTL communications

5. tachyonics (electronics and positronics too slow)

6. faster supercomputers

7. new propulsion concepts - matter/antimatter annihilation too slow, we need to get above one billion celeritas

8. micrometeorite protection (probably the best way is a deflector shield / force field on the lead ship (a.k.a. plow ship variant of a galaxyship)

9. long-range sensors

10 cosmic ray protection

Critical Path Research

Prove the existence of tachyons. String theorists spend a lot of time swatting tachyons that keep cropping up everywhere they turn. Perhaps nature is trying to tell us something. Einstein never said we cannot travel faster than light. He only said we can't travel AT the speed of light. Which makes sense. To use an analogy, a plane speeding up to break the sound barrier goes through turbulence at the speed of sound. Once it breaks through to the supersonic range, it encounters no problems until it reaches the heat barrier at around Mach 5. So yes, Albert was warning us of turbulence at one celeritas just as other theorists warn us of a phase transition at around one billion celeritas. See? That wasn't so hard.

Look for tardyons (slower than light particles), luxons (particles that only move at the speed of light) and tachyons. Yes, we know what the next problem is. One problem at a time. Patience!

Things Computer Folk Can Do

Questions & Answers

How will we go to other galaxies?

In galaxyships, vessels for intergalactic travel.

How can the vast distances to other galaxies be conquered?

By higher speeds, specifically by using hyperluminal propulsion.

What is hyperluminal propulsion?

Any drive over one billion celeritas.

What is celeritas?

Just a technical way of saying lightspeed this, in turn is a shorter way of saying “times the speed of light."

Isn't the light barrier unbreakable?

Einstein's equations forbid travel at the speed of light--not slower or faster.

What if we succeed?

Historically, breakthroughs in transportation transform society and improve life. We could achieve maturity as a species.

What changes could occur?

The end of the age of the star child and the beginning of the Age of Galactic Man.

What if we fail?

We try again. Failure to even try will make us a Third World.

Shouldn't we explore the Milky Way before going on to other galaxies?

It isn't either/or. We do both. But go to an interstellar travel site if this is too rich for your blood. We're high octane here.

Is there extraterrestrial intelligence? (ETI)


What kinds of civilizations are possible?

Primitive or advanced.

If there is ETI, won't most species be conveniently at our level of progress like in most science fiction?

The odds do not favor any civilization being within a millennium more (immortals) or less advanced (Dark Ages) than us. A billion years less advanced (pre-apes) or more advanced (gods) than us is more likely.

What if advanced civilizations regard us as neither intelligent nor life forms?

History has answered that.

Would advanced civilizations abide by the principle of noninterference?

Technology and ethics seldom go together. Besides the idea of noninterference is a human concept. They wouldn't be human.

How can we prepare for first contact?

Proceed with the galaxy project.

If there is ETI, how long before first contact?


What kind of spacefaring race will we become?

An interplanetary culture, an interstellar civilization, or an intergalactic supercivilization. Not necessarily in that order.

What is supercivilization?

Outgrowing war and technological ability to travel between superclusters.

What's a supercluster?

Galaxies gather in multiplets, multiplets gather in groups, groups gather in clusters, clusters gather in clouds, and clouds gather in superclusters. We (the Milky Way) are in the Virgo Supercluster (our home). The nearest to us is known as the "Southern Supergalaxy" a name from the time in astronomy before the term supercluster was coined and in use.

Isn't intergalactic travel completely impossible?

Aerodynamically, bumblebees can't fly. Nor did God give us wings.

If it is possible, is it worth doing?

Yes, intergalactic travel is the key to our future both in mastering our destiny and in the quest to achieve supercivilization.

Why start now?

Because tomorrow never comes. If not now, when?

How will we do all this?

1. create an IGT society

2. create infrastructure

3. create the galaxy project

4. launch

In that order.

Isn't this utopian and therefore impossible?

One hundred (100%) percent perfection is difficult -- although quality control routinely achieves zero defects in many companies. And "pseudotopia" or ninety-nine (99%) percent is possible. We don't need to be perfect, just successful. And success is persistence of vision. Try to try again until we get it right.

How can progress be accelerated?

Motivation, participation by the best minds, better management tools, better engineering tools, money, and teamwork. The best book on accelerated progress is Mindsteps to the Cosmos by Gerald S. Hawkins.

What's in it for me?

It could make you smarter. And another by-product of this project may be immortality. It will be fun. And when your grandchildren ask what did you do when you were younger, you will say smugly: "I opened a frontier, ended war, and gave humanity a whole new lease on life. What have you done?"

What do you mean by "the age of the star child" ?

Our history books are filled with monotonous lists of wars and their dates learned by rote. Our current events are wars. Our science fiction books predict that we can expect nothing but star wars. The biggest movie of all time is about us committing genocide against another intelligent species. Don't say it couldn't happen because right now the Japanese are slaughtering dolphins and big whales. We humans wouldn't like to be wiped out of existence. So what justifies our genocidal behavior? The Tasmanians, for example, were completely wiped out of existence to make room for penal colonies transported to Australia. Since we have programmed ourselves to a future of laying waste to the Milky Way, some of us can reasonably ask: Why not skip this infantile phase and jump ahead to maturity? Explore galaxies while the politicians and the military get the instinct to war out of their systems, purge themselves of the art of war. We IGT thinkers and doers want to leave them behind technologically, culturally, morally, ethically, and most importantly physically. We want maximum distance from the children and their war toys. If Earth is a cradle as some are fond of saying, so is the Milky Way.

If we are an immature species, is SETI a good idea?

Yes to passive SETI. We need to know who is out there. No to active SETI. Contact is a bad idea. They will either be more advanced than us or less advanced. The odds of them being at a 2010 AD level of advancement are statistically zero. If they are less advanced, then we will probably kill them with our communicable diseases and destroy their food sources and villages (as happened to the North American Indians and Hawaiians) or simply slaughter them and take their land for its natural resources (as the Brazilian whites are doing right this moment to Amazonians). If they are more advanced, then can we be so naïve as to expect them to be "space brothers" or cuddly E.T. ? Even when we humans go into a place like Papua New Guinea with the best of intentions, chaos reigns. The sheer fact of different levels of technological advancement makes good people do bad things. If the ufologists are not on hallucinogenic drugs, then why do "space brothers" obsess on rectal probes? Are they too stupid ethically to know that we don't like being kidnapped and raped?

Let's go beyond a prime directive of noninterference. Avoidance of any intelligent life out there makes more sense. Maybe in a thousand years, when we have gotten sick of war and sworn it off, we can revisit the policy.

But for now, a good idea is explore the galaxies and don't kill or be killed.

Editor's note -- The Lifeboat Foundation has also sounded the alarm about irresponsible SETI scientists shouting at the universe in frustration over what they view as non-results. As any mature scientist knows, no results is as much information as getting the result you expected. It doesn't mean the universe is or isn't crowded. It may mean that other species have switched to FTL communication.


Calisto - the logical place for a starport, starship building, and a transfer point for personnel headed out to the galaxyport. A colony here could also earn money to fund the project. Possibly more helium-2 than the lunar surface in Jupiter's upper atmosphere.

coordination - as in it is better than lack of

countdown - in less than forty years

galactodesy - mathematics applied to intergalactic travel

galactonauts - travelers between galaxies. In addition to press junkets, morale tours, capcom, downrange stations, and chase pilot work; their critical work is training for shakedown cruises and the maiden voyage. When IGT becomes routine, they can become glorified bus drivers.

galactonautics - designing, building, and operating galaxyships

Galaxial Polytechnic - the school we need to start since nobody is teaching what we want to learn

galaxyport - in analogy to starports that dock starships between interstellar flights, this would serve long-haul intergalactic flights. Best location is probably in orbit around a satellite galaxy such as one of the Magellanics.

hyperluminal propulsion - it makes galaxyships move faster than one billion celeritas

infrastructure - utilities and heavy industry behind the scenes (or in plain sight) that makes all this possible. Examples of key elements: spacelift, a Deep Space Industrial Development Board, new materials, materials working (not just metalworking), astrionics shops, tachyonics shops, refineries (not the oil kind), cryostats, engine test stands, assembly plants, advanced pumps, wave guides, beyond fiber optic cables, advanced airlocks, advanced seals, advanced insulation, orbital tugs, space tankers, industrial mobilization, and macroengineering.

intergalactic medicine - space medicine as adapted to the needs of this project

leadership development - We need a champion and we need leaders with the IQ to take on the obstacles (government, NASA, military), challenges (megafunding, science, macroengineering, security, lack of easy access to orbit, motivation, etc.) and triumph.

macroengineering - the engineering of very large projects. In this case, city-sized robots may be employed in space to speed up work that might otherwise take centuries. Or, where appropriate, tredotechnology.

megafunding - We need to build massive trust funds to pay for all this. Sit down. You're about to have a heart attack. This is likely to cost more than trillions and more than quadrillions. Even with watching every penny and extreme efficiency. No one said all the challenges would be science and engineering. The finance people have their work cut out for them too.

mission - establish regular scheduled passenger flights between galaxies starting with the first pathfinder mission

navigation - new types of compasses and navigational aids

operations - training, management, flights, payloads, launches, simulators, evaluation, space medicine, space psychology, safety, research, purchasing, forecasting (so-called space weather), checklists, maintenance, testing, spare parts, logistical support, modifications, sequencing, timers, selection, qualification, applications, interviews, recruiting, standard operating procedures, system rules manuals, domestic spacelines (inside the Milky Way), onboard medical systems, flow charting, planning operations centers themselves, programming, and a new field called "passenger flow"

orbital complex - mostly a refueling stop between our ground staging areas and test areas in the Oort Cloud or Kuiper Belt or even further out.

port authority - some official body set up to build and operate the galaxyport from which we launch the first galaxyships

primes - prime contractors

propulsion - We're not going to list our concepts yet. It might preempt you and you might have a better idea. Which would be great! Let's hear your ideas first. Note: chemical rockets are too slow even for interstellar travel.

remote sensing - We'll need to send probes ahead and not the sublight kind. We'll need to build sensors not limited by the speed of light. Our view of galaxies in telescopes is how they used to look millions of years ago because light moves so slowly.

security - can't talk about it

spacelift - The ability to enter orbit at low cost now (not a million years from now) with very heavy payloads and without regulatory red tape. [Note: Do not bother us with rickety space elevator concepts.]

tredotechnology - robots several orders of magnitude smaller than nanobots that are used to build things at the sub-particle level. Perhaps a way of making pure neutronium or fabricating objects with tolerances impossible now.

How long would it take to travel to Barnard's galaxy at light speed?

Real answer is in the question itself. At lightspeed, all you really do is spin your wheels. When you got back to Earth after a round trip, you would find that traveling at relativistic speeds screws with time itself.

Pedestrian answer is at 1.7 million light years away, it will take 1.7 million years to travel to Barnard's galaxy at the speed of light. One way.

The photo is a close up of a detail in Barnard's galaxy.

Barnard's galaxy

A Key Concept: The Central Project

A central project is one that is so enormous that it occupies the spiritual, intellectual, and physical resources of a society over a long period of time.

Examples include the pyramids of Egypt and the cathedrals of Europe.

Needless to say, a modern skyscraper, even the Petronas Towers or the now-destroyed World Trade Center, do not absorb the energies of anyone beyond the architects, engineers, and construction company. They are NOT central projects.

A good modern example would be the Apollo Project.

Then again, the Apollo Project did not absorb the energies of the entire society much less all of Western Civilization. Can you think of a better example?

Goal Setting



The first effort to make progress in IGT research and development produced a lot of talk and no action. The second effort could not attract membership. So to those of you unaware that IGT even has a history please understand that we are meeting averse. Meetings tend to be a total waste of time. We also are picky about who is allowed to be a member. PhD's are preferred. If you are writing from prison because you have a lot of time on your hands, your mail will be fed to the shredder and ignored. If you are contacting us to tell us that this is a waste of taxpayer money, then we will have proof positive that you are stupid because above we clearly stated that we DO NOT WANT TAX money.

Only professionals are welcome in doing project work. The supporting membership society is another story. Everyone from housewives to janitors is welcome in a Galactic Society. Hey, we're building a brighter future for everyone so why not include everyone?

But it is project work itself where we reserve the right to be highly selective.

One other historical note. If you come across articles such as Adrian Berry's reaming of Robert Page Burruss, then you may understand why we IGT folk are initially hostile and then ignore critics and kooks alike. The critics will never help. They will say it can't be done while others (us) do it. The kooks and crazies on the other hand will try to attach themselves to us like parasites and the project will suffer a predictable PR disaster when they embarrass us. Hence, the reason for our clannishness.

While we reject Burruss's travel slow approach, we honor him as one of our first inspirations. Leave the guy alone. For that matter, leave all of us IGT people alone to work in peace because peace (and not war) is ultimately what we seek.


The image overstates it a bit but radical approach to design is warranted when it comes to designing galaxyships and their supporting infrastructure.

Rockets will not get us to any useful speed. Not even ion rockets. The US Air Force is studying antimatter for propulsion so we can begin to think about matter-antimatter annihilation as a propulsion strategy. But it won't be enough. Not by a long shot.

For the mathematicians and engineers, specific impulse will probably not be a useful concept when the assumptions themselves are called into question.

Think referential stasis. Think non-propellant based propulsion. Think MHD. Think beyond MHD. Think magnetic drives. Think gravity drives. Think fifth force of physics. Think about tachyons even though it drives string theorists up the wall. [Much more about tachyons in a future module] Think hyperluminal drive. Think above one billion celeritas.

Forget about anything below one billion times the speed of light because below that velocity, the galaxyship is essentially stopped dead in space drifting between galaxies on voyages of too long a duration for humans to suffer through. And we are not sending machines in our place. We are humans not gadgets. We must design ships for the comfort of people not robots. Voyages must never exceed ten years because beyond that we might go stir crazy with cabin fever. Sleeper ships would be expensive wastes of money because getting there should be half the fun.

Yes fun. We should not apologize for wanting space travel to be fun instead of an ordeal.

You're saying that sleeper ships could be put on autopilot. Our response to that is in the above paragraphs and the probability of hitting something in space en route. No. Live pilots and crew is the way to go.

Eliptical, Normal and Barred


Size of Galaxies


Types of Galaxies


I have the need for speed


not this kind of fast - not the lawbreaking kind, the Einstein kind






Just so We Are Clear, This Is Just for Starters


Galaxyship designers and engineers will be speed junkies (not the drug silly, the galaxyships).

Reality Check Ahead


Reality Check


(not the kind you cash)

Your Computer Will Not Get You off the Ground


but one of these will

You Have to Bend Metal


Or Carbon Composite or Fiberglass or . . .


. . . Even Tri-titanium


Macroengineering Books

Books about macroengineering! Who'd have thunk?

Galaxyship Design

When you submit your design for galaxyships to this or any other IGT site, do not waste the time of others with sublight sleeper ships or generational ships. If you read the articles above, then you already know that we pretty much are not interested in anything going less than a billion times lightspeed.

You are forewarned. So don't go whining that IGT folks don't suffer fools gladly because we don't.

By the way, the man standing is Syd Mead.

Spaceship Design

Please note: We do not approve of military designs for warships since we are not interested in going to another galaxy just to pick a fight with the neighbors. In fact, as far as destinations go, we would prefer to go to an uninhabited and unclaimed galaxy to avoid the issue of interstellar war entirely. We leave interstellar war to those who chose to stay behind in the Milky Way because it is an easy prediction that the next several centuries in the Milky Way will be bloody ones as humans fight with extraterrestrial alien species and other humans. Colonies fight with Mother Earth, the home world. Et cetera ad nauseam. You get the dismal picture.

Therefore we include certain links for completeness only. Inclusion does not imply approval.


actually taking the workable designs and turning them into reality

Spaceship Builder

Okay so Maybe a Truck Won't Work Either

if we have to pass underneath bridges

And Stop Playing with the Bubble Wrap!

The stuff is no good if it is flat.

On a serious note, I am reminded by the bubble wrap of reading a science fiction story about really really advanced seat belts and airbags (actually passive restraint system) where the entire ship was designed to absorb shock and if it passed the breaking point (the ship hit a gas nebula at relativistic speed) then the ship was designed to break into pieces that were life boats and would re-assemble later. The passengers were automatically dropped beforehand into cushion pods within the lifeboats. Does anyone remember the name and author of the story? I forget.

not everybody wants to go to Andromeda - other galaxies may be better neighborhoods

but you get the idea.

(Their parents must be really worried about these two hitch-hiking without a guide to the galaxies)

What's The Point ? - -

The Point is a site that is being explored as a place to, in their words, "make something happen." In going about the business of setting up an account to organize a campaign, several issues arise.

1. We don't have a treasurer or anyone we trust to handle money other than IGT society founders. Some IGT societies have included The Galactic Society (or TGS) and Galactic Society International (or GSI). We cannot drop their names because we don't have their permission. In the meantime, a CMA (certified management accountant) might be a solution but we have to pay them which we can't do since we haven't raised any money yet. Hence the need for a charter meeting to elect provisional officers including a treasurer. We can't really trust a CPA because unlike CMA's, CPA's can't keep a secret and they have a track record of absconding to places like Brazil. CMA's are private. CPA's are public. That's what the P in CPA means. Apologies to all the accountants I've offended. You should be more honest!

2. The Point doesn't have space as a category but there is always a first and they do allow for suggestions and technology is a category. Of course, huge parts of the IGT project are not technology hence the need to properly categorize ourselves.

3. The Point FAQ mentions credit cards and fees. Direct quotation:

"Are there any fees?

The Point takes 5% of each campaign to cover the credit card and administrative fees."

End quote.

Overall though in my humble opinion, the negatives are far outweighed by the positives.

What do you think of Google SketchUp ? - -

Quotation from the site:

3D modeling for everyone

"SketchUp is the finest (and most innovative) tool available for anyone designing anything from coffee pots to skyscrapers."

- McCall & Associates

Before you ask, the above is not _THE_ Robert T. McCall.

Robert T. McCall, Space Artist, Dies at 90


Published: March 5, 2010 New York Times

Robert T. McCall, an artist whose fervor for space exploration found expression in his six-story-tall mural at the National Air and Space Museum and two postage stamps canceled on the Moon, died on Feb. 26 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 90.

[and he also did the iconic 2001: a space odyssey poster]

Recommended Social Networks - Intended for Research Scientists (not Lightweights)




Professional Societies

We are going to need our own.

Where to do research and development?

Australia -- it's got Outback, Cape York, and scramjet research at universities

Japan - pro-innovation people, companies and even government (despite those who say governments can't innovate)

Britain -

Germany - good engineers

China - secret police; millions of hackers eager to prove their patriotism by harassing dissidents, stealing secrets from foreigners and crashing their systems (so if we go dark you'll know it was them); and the Great Firewall of China. The government doesn't even deny the existence of it. They are moving from general censorship to targeting specific people. These are all reasons why we're getting out of the Milky Way. On the plus side, their architects design some really cool buildings. And despite hating cultural innovation, they like technical innovation. Overall, no balance.

Russia - ditto, a nation run by the KGB. On the plus side, Russians know how to get into space. They're better at it than ANYBODY else. They have launched rockets in blizzards.

USA - NASA stops a countdown for rain. Granted, Florida has more lightning strikes than Russia but still they look like pansies by comparison. Further, the USA never had a Concorde (unlike France) or a bullet train/TGV (unlike France). So why would anyone expect transportation innovation from a country that still has no mass-produced all-electric car? Japan has the Leaf and before it the Prius. GM ground up the EV-1 and the Chevy Volt can't climb a hill. And it catches on fire.

France - in addition to numerous strengths, France has a modern internet system

India - great engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and the list goes on. Infrastructure and security problems though.

We need a country that will encourage innovation but leave us in peace to do our R&D.

We don't need a country that will send in spies, steal our research, harass us and generally sour us on the human race. After all, we're humans ourselves. We just want a bright present, a brighter future, freedom, and evolution. Bureaucrats and backward religions fear evolution. (God forbid that humans should become better people less evil and less crazy and less stupid) That's why we need distance to grow as individuals and as a new civilization.

the "Bird Galaxy"

I don't see the resemblance but that's the name.

Bode's galaxy

Holmberg IX - a satellite of Bode's galaxy (M 81)

I know what you're thinking. No, not that line from Dirty Harry. You're thinking: Why waste space showing images of satellites other than satellites of the Milky Way? Because some of those satellites outside our multiplet are interesting in their own right.

The irregular dwarf galaxy Holmberg IX, a satellite of M 81, is visible almost only in ultraviolet light. This is, because it largely consists of young, hot, blue stars. Kids. What can you do with them?

When we get a better image of Holmberg IX, we'll show it.

the Cigar galaxy

complete with tobacco spit (oh gross!)

the Comet galaxy

It got the name because it looks like a comet.

Hoag's Object, a galaxy

Obviously a ring type of galaxy. You can even see a distant galaxy through the hole.

Mayall's Object, a galaxy

Sunflower galaxy

Tadpole galaxy

the Pinwheel galaxy

if anyone has an IMAX screen, there are 64 meg and larger images of this galaxy

the Sombrero galaxy - X-ray, optical and infra-red views

the Whirlpool galaxy - another view

pay attention - look past the Heart and Soul nebulae

visible near the bottom of this image are two galaxies, Maffei 1 and Maffei 2

Maffei 1

Maffei 2

Don't let the unimpressive images of this and Maffei 1 fool you. We have to look through the zone of avoidance just to see half the universe around us in every direction. The Zone of Avoidance (ZOA) is the area of the night sky that is obscured by our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Maffei 1 and Maffei 2 are two of the biggest galaxies in the Local Group other than Andromeda. What else is hiding behind the blinding light of our galaxy's center? Projects to survey the Zone of Avoidance at radio wavelengths, particularly using the 21 cm spin-flip emission line of neutral atomic hydrogen (known in astronomical parlance as HI), have detected many galaxies that could not be detected in the infrared. Examples of galaxies detected from their HI emission include Dwingeloo 1 and Dwingeloo 2. (thanks Wikipedia)

"Willman 1"

Out at the extreme of what instruments can detect is this galaxy. You know it must be extreme magnification because about all we have is blurred pixels. It is the third dimmest galaxy known.

Obviously the dimmest must actually be a black galaxy giving zero optical light or maybe a galaxy consisting entirely of nebulae like the Coal Sack (dark dust clouds in space) which might be darker than black holes because black holes cause anything nearby to strain against their gravitational force -- which usually translates as light or radiation at some wavelength.

Willman 1 is a satellite of the Milky Way!


Wanted: Dead or Alive -- Komossa's Object

a galaxy

We don't have an image of Komossa's Object because we can't find one. Please somebody send us an image of it.

What makes Komossa's Object interesting? It is a galaxy that is ejecting its supermassive black hole. Any galaxy that can pull off that trick is worth a look. Whether by natural forces of astrophysics or by some extraterrestrial alien technology, the idea of kicking one of these unhealthy neighbors out is cool. No one wants to be sucked into a black hole -- let alone a supermassive black hole. (and ultramassive ones exist in the universe also).

Library of Conrgress

1. The physics of tachyons

Wall, Ernst L ( 1995 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

2. A derivation of electro-weak theory based on an extension of special relativity, black hole tachyons & tachyons of any spin

Blaha, Stephen ( c2006 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

3. Tachyons, monopoles, and related topics : proceedings of the first session of the interdisciplinary seminars on tachyons and related topics, Erice, 1-15 September, 1976

( 1978 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

4. Physics beyond the light barrier : the source of parity violation, tachyons, and a derivation of standard model features

Blaha, Stephen ( c2007 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

5. The tachyon and its fields

Kowalczyński, Jerzy Klemens ( 1996 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

6. The web of space-time; a step-by-step exploration of relativity

Struble, Mitch ( [1973] ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

7. The reality of the future : an essay on time, causation, and backward causation

Faye, Jan ( c1989 ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

8. Cosmic rays at ground level

( [1973] ) ( Book, Periodical, Manuscript )

Source: Library of Congress Online Catalog

Who will sponsor us?

IBM built a trivia machine named Watson prompting Ken Jennings to write: “I for one welcome our new computer overlords.” Not that funny. Google is building a driverless car prompting a Dodge Charger commercial to say: “We've seen that movie; it ends with robots harvesting our bodies for energy.” Again, not that funny.

The IGT project will of course use AI and robotics to get galaxyships built. We’ll use any tool that works. But our goal is not to serve machines. Our goal is human intergalactic travel. We’ll use probes but space is for humans not machines. One can get only so excited watching robots explore Jupiter and Saturn. We want to go. Machines only serve to make our journey safer not to take our place.

Surely there are companies large or small that would sponsor the early phases of our research. We are NOT giving away the farm or giving away the store as the expression goes but industries like communications, energy, transportation, and computing (to name a few) will benefit by an association with us. Check with any physicist if you doubt that assertion.

The military will also benefit (no surprise there) which is a motivation to get out of the Milky Way before politicians blow it up in wars they foment between colonies and with aliens. I use the term aliens instead of extraterrestrials because once we colonize the Moon and Mars we humans are technically extraterrestrials in the strict sense of the word.

As anyone who has visited this lens before knows, it will be centuries before all of humanity gets war out of its collective conscious. As a subset of humanity, we IGT folk don’t have the patience to wait centuries until the rest of the human race grows up and matures out of the juvenile need to kill. We could get vaporized or infected with some super-Ebola in the meantime. We want to leave war and crime behind by finding uninhabited unclaimed galaxies to colonize. And we want to do this yesterday.





The Third Sector

trust funds


financial engineering



If you prefer to cut a check . . .

. . . instead of donating time or talent, then please give a gift.

please . . .


Please . . .



thanks !

This is a galaxy

material originally produced for BBC Stargazing Live 2012

CANDELS - Cosmic Assembly Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey

Using its near-infrared vision to peer 9 billion years back in time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered an extraordinary population of tiny, young galaxies that are brimming with star formation. The galaxies are typically a hundred times less massive than the Milky Way galaxy, yet they churn out stars at such a furious pace that their stellar content would double in just 10 million years. By comparison, the Milky Way would take a thousand times longer to double its population. The observations were part of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), an ambitious three-year survey to analyze the most distant galaxies in the universe. CANDELS is the census of dwarf galaxies at such an early epoch in the universe's history. This video zooms into the Hubble GOODS South Deep (GSD) field and the Hubble Ultra Deep Survey (UDS) field.

galaxy cluster MACS 1206

A picture from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACS 1206, which is 4.5 billion light years from Earth. The cluster's gravity is powerful enough to visibly bend the path of light, somewhat like a magnifying glass.

{source of the following is Alan Boyle}

"Scientists are using funhouse images of faraway galaxies to learn how dark matter shaped the cosmos we see today. This picture from the Hubble Space Telescope, with the monster galaxy cluster MACS J1206.2-0847 (or MACS 1206 for short) at the center, illustrates how gravitational lenses can focus on phenomena that would otherwise go unseen.

Notice how a lot of the galaxies surrounding the central smudge of light have been distorted into thin arcs of light. That's due to the light-bending effect of the massive MACS 1206, as dictated by Einstein's general theory of relativity. Astronomers can do a careful analysis of those distortion effects to figure out just how massive the galaxy cluster is, and even where the mass is most concentrated.

Scientists have known for a long time that such galaxy clusters are much more massive than they thought they'd be, based on how much light they're giving out. The motions of galaxies suggest that visible matter makes up 15 percent or less of the universe's total mass. The rest of the stuff is the dark matter. It's not yet clear exactly what dark matter is, but scientists suspect it consists of exotic particles that don't interact much with the "ordinary" matter we all know and love.

MACS 1206, which lies 4.5 billion light years from Earth, is one of 25 galaxy clusters that have been targeted by an effort known as the Cluster Lensing and Supernova Survey Using Hubble, or CLASH. So far, the effort has completed its observations for six of the clusters. By analyzing variations in the gravitational effects, the CLASH team hopes to map out how dark matter's effect has shaped galaxy clusters over time."

Arp 273

This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope. The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one.

Look Carefully

Not one object in this shot is a star. Everything you see is a galaxy.

No one has written a check yet

but the good news is that one funding proposal has been written and we are preparing a second one.

It is just a matter of time . . .

. . . before something like this happens.

Intergalactic Travel - APHEX TWIN - XTAL

Most of the images are inside the Milky Way and some inside the Solar System but enjoyable despite lacking anything about galaxyships.

Intergalactic Travel - APHEX TWIN - XTAL

Most of the images are inside the Milky Way and some inside the Solar System but enjoyable despite lacking anything about galaxyships.



Become a Member

of Galactic Society International


Centaurus A - NGC 5128

Centaurus A is a radio galaxy, which means it makes a lot of noise for the benefit of radio astronomers and is easy to pick up with a dish or radio telescope. It may surprise you to know that not all amateur astronomers stick to optical or visible light. I have known amateur radio astronomers but I don't know if they were in it for SETI or doing science or as an extension of ham radio hobby or what.

Centaurus A is also a very big galaxy. It is referred to as a giant galaxy in the same manner that some stars are called giants and some supergiants.

This galaxy is either a lenticular galaxy or a giant elliptical galaxy. There is some uncertainty as to which Hubble type it is.

Lastly, if the sky is dark enough and you have very good vision, then you could see it with the naked eye.

Eridanus - Ngc 1300, Mcg-03-09-018, Eso 547 -g 31, Pgc 12412

Feel free to report me to The International Astronomical Union for naming this galaxy without proper authority. I will use the time in prison to work on my memoir. But seriously, I noticed that this lens did not have a decent image of a barred galaxy and so this photo corrects that oversight.

The discoverer of this galaxy has an interesting story. John Herschel was the son of William Herschel. His father William was born Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in Germany before moving to England, discovering that Uranus was a planet, and composing 24 symphonies. The uncles of John were musicians in the town of Bath. His aunt was Caroline Herschel who discovered 8 comets and 11 nebulae, published the British Catalogue of Stars, was honored by the Royal Astronomical Society of the UK, and was a soprano soloist. With that kind of family achievement in the previous generation, John might be forgiven if his generation sunk back into obscurity unable to equal his parents' accomplishments.

John became Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet. He was a mathematician, chemist, and botanist. He was no shirk as an astronomer discovering 1754 celestial objects including the galaxy in this photo !!! He was an inventor. One invention was the actinometer (used today to shut up climate change deniers who say the sun is hotter). He also contributed to the field of photography.

He married the beautiful Margaret Brodie Stewart and had twelve children. Now at this point in the story, the reader is thinking: "Well the next generation won't amount to much after all that." Apparently the Hershel grandchildren did not know about the Law of Diminishing Returns because many of them went on to successes of their own. His daughter Margaret Louisa Herschel was an accomplished artist. His son Sir William Herschel, 2nd Baronet developed forensics (you can thank or curse him for invading your privacy). His son Alexander Stewart Herschel was a professor, a physicist and an astronomer who did pioneering work on meteors. His namesake son John was a colonel and a surveyor. Other daughters did the Jane Austen thing of good marriages. Caroline Emilia Mary Herschel married a general. Amelia Herschel married a diplomat. Julia Mary Herschel married a captain who became an admiral. Margaret was the first to die at age 27. The last to die was Constance Ann Herschel who died in 1939. When Sir John himself died, he got a national funeral and burial in Westminster Abbey. If you have to die (and you really don't if you have read my lens Guide to Immortality), then this immigrant's son led a full life. Enough life for several people.

Any intelligent life living in Eridanus might be honored to have had such an illustrious discoverer. Of course, like the Native Americans, no one really discovers anything if someone was there first. I guess they would find all this discovery business rather amusing. NGC 1300 was discovered by John Frederick William Herschel in 1835.

Omega Centauri

At first thought to be a star and then a globular, Omega Centauri has had its status upgraded to being a dwarf galaxy as of April 2010. Congratulations.

Omega Centauri is also the closest satellite of the Milky Way at 18,300 light years. The next closest is Canis Major Dwarf (0.025 million light years). Followed by Virgo Stellar Stream (0.030 Mly), then Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy (0.081 Mly), Ursa Major II Dwarf (0.098 Mly), and then The Large Magellanic Cloud (0.163 Mly). Then comes all the other satellite galaxies.

What's the big deal? You in the back, the only one who raised their hand. "Because the closest satellite galaxy is where we will go first before even thinking of setting out for another multiplet." Class, give them a round of applause. Why? Confidence-building. Good news for us humans.

Oh. One bit of bad news for Omega Centauri itself. Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy is being ripped apart from tidal forces. Just as moons who get too close to their planet can get ripped apart by tidal forces, likewise satellite galaxies can face the same fate. Omega Centauri is closer than Canis Major Dwarf to the Milky Way.

Image source European Southern Observatory.

the Silver Coin - also known as the Silver Dollar Galaxy

I guess we know where to do silver prospecting.

Sculptor is a starburst galaxy which means it is forming stars at a statistically significant high rate. Other examples of starburst galaxies are the Antennae, the Cigar Galaxy, the Baby Boom Galaxy, and the pea galaxies. Of this last, pea galaxies are a type not the name of any specific galaxy. They were discovered by you. That is, citizen astronomers with the Galaxy Zoo project.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

image source: Jschulman555

Baby Boom Galaxy

Named for a whole generation or named for a lack of family planning, birth control or contraceptives? I have not been able to track down the father of the name of this galaxy but it may be a consensus thing and a reference to population and census statistics. The consensus may be that several people simultaneously came up with the name and it stuck. There are other starburst galaxies but this may be the busiest maternity ward in the universe.

Cetus A - NGC 1068, Messier object M77

Cetus A is a galaxy of the Seyfert class and, being the first identified of its kind, graduated at the head of its class. Seyferts have nuclei that produce spectral line emissions from highly ionized gas, have active galactic nuclei, and are thought to contain supermassive black holes. Supermassive means the mass of our sun times ten to the seventh power up to ten to the eighth power (exponents).

Circinus galaxy

This is a type 2 Seyfert, meaning narrow emission lines only. Circinus is also the closest Seyfert galaxy to us.

Markarian 421

No, It was not my screw up on the printer. The original image was cropped half-way off the overhead projector or lightbox.

Markarian 421 is an active galaxy, the closest blazar to us, and the closest BL Lacertae object to us. Most galaxies are satisfied to hold one title -- much less three. A blazar is a very energetic and very compact quasar. A BL Lacertae object is a highly variable, active galactic nucleus. The point being that astronomers don't just study whole galaxies, they also study parts of galaxies. Case in point: looking at the interior of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

a galaxy in Pegasus - NGC 7457

Contains a supermassive black hole like most galaxies.

Coordinates --

Right Ascension: 23h 00m 59.9s

Declination: +30° 08' 40.7"

Hanny's Voorwerp

The Siamese Twins

They are also called the Butterfly Galaxies.

Starfish Galaxy

Sextans A

Not to be confused with other galaxies named Sextans.

Mice Galaxies

Oh rats, we have mice. And not the computer kind either.

Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

This is a satellite of Andromeda.

Starburst Galaxy M82

The Triangulum Galaxy

Travel the UNIVERSE


What Is the Nearest Galaxy to the Milky Way?

Dr. Michelle Thaller explains that the answer isn't as simple as you might think!

If you mean the nearest primary galaxy, then the conventional answer is Andromeda.

If you mean the nearest galaxy, then you have to include satellite galaxies (the ones that orbit the Milky Way). However, Dr. Thaller says that the Milky Way has two satellites which is an error. The Milky Way has roughly a dozen (give or take) satellite galaxies. Doctor Thaller also says that there are two Magellanic Clouds. This error is more forgivable because even professional astronomers forget about the Magellanic Remnant which is the third Magellanic Cloud besides the Large and Small.

I still recommend this video because the good doctor adds useful information such as the fact that a dwarf galaxy is passing through the plane of the Milky Way right now eighty-eight thousand light years away from us. It is in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius if you are looking for coordinates.

I also recommend this video because Dr. Thaller also informs us that Canis Majoris Dwarf is being cannibalized by the Milky Way.

For you graduate students and post-docs out there, a good question is: How can two galaxies pass through each other without any collisions of stars? While another two galaxies might have a completely different interaction whereby one cannibalizes the other? (generally the larger mass one will steal stars from the lower mass one). Still another pair of galaxies might meet and explode? A fourth pair of galaxies might meet at an angle and go into orbit around each other like a binary star? A fifth pair of galaxies might or might not do something that would upset existing theories of galaxy dynamics. This has little to do with intergalactic travel but extragalactic astronomers would no doubt occupy a career or a lifetime pondering and studying these questions.

I suspect that since a supermassive black hole lies at the core of most primary galaxies (not sure about satellites) that the answer to the above questions has something to do with whether supermassive black hole slams into another supermassive black hole (core hits core) or the angle of approach is different. For irresponsible kids who like big explosions, they don't get much bigger than this. Nova, supernova, hypernova. [Actually, they do get bigger. The Great Attractor that lies on the other side of a wall of superclusters may be an ultramassive black hole. Slam two of those together and you might as well move to another universe since you will have trashed most of the livable low radiation places to live.] The problem with this violent universe is that we mature adults are somewhat less enamoured of explosions and are saddled with responsibilities like finding another home world if this one is destroyed or finding another home galaxy is this one is destroyed. Since groups of primary galaxies are receding from each other at an ever accelerating rate, there may not be much time to move if one plans to move.

In other words, you don't want to be in that big ka-boom!!!

And here is another sobering thought: You should not contemplate whether there is life elsewhere in the universe and then be so insensitive as to not wonder if billions of people out there are fighting to survive the astronomical equivalent of extinction level events. Not tidal waves or hurricanes or even planet-wide disasters like a comet hitting Earth or a solar nova or a dozen other catastrophes I could list. No, we are talking much, much bigger on a galactic scale.

Aside from the moral and ethical challenge of caring about other intelligent species, there is the purely selfish reason: If we help out other civilizations, then when our luck turns bad, they will owe us a favor. It works on Earth as nations help each other out so there is the possibility that altruism works elsewhere in the universe. Certainly, biologists think that there is evolutionary advantage to altruism. And on more than one PBS nature show I have seen animals of vastly different species (like a duck & a turtle or a goat & a horse or a dog & a deer) looking out for each other.

Yes, I know. I am the one who opposes First Contact or any contact with more advanced species for world security reasons. But if they seek us out, then that's a different matter. Simple courtesy says hear them out. I just want to avoid a war that we are certain to lose simply because we not only lack faster-than-light travel -- most people don't even believe it is possible.

Journey Through Earth, Space, and Time (HD)

Editor's Note -- Start this video at time code 28:15 or you will have to suffer through the boring interplanetary and interstellar stuff.


"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -- Carl Sagan

More by this Author

  • Guide to Overpopulation

    Population explosion/crowding/no elbow room/living like roaches/packed in like sardines/standing room only/squeezed/mashed/gridlock/billions of people/ Overpopulation causes all problems.

  • Green Space

    The universe is not just growing in size. It is growing in the sense of being alive. Nature is not confined to Earth.

  • Guide to Becoming a Hippie

    Please note: this is NOT a lens about being a hippie (that's a separate lens).  This is a lens about becoming a hippie.  Got it?   1.  Turn on: Just avoid drugs, drugs are for squares, hippies gave...

Members Only 18 comments

ShamanicShift 6 years ago

Wondrous -- blessed by a SquidAngel!

ThoeleShakia 5 years ago

Subliminal Software

Inkhand profile image

Inkhand 5 years ago

A fascinating lens, the Whirlpool galaxy looks amazing.

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 5 years ago Author

@ShamanicShift: Thanks for the blessing! You are our Official angel.

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 5 years ago Author

@Inkhand: Whirlpool is a brand of major apppliances in many countries. Their television commercials used to feature the Whirlpool galaxy.

I am not sure what is going on technically with Squidoo but visitors used to be able to see very large images of galaxies that I put in this lens. I have not changed any settings so it is not me. At least I hope not.

knit1tat2 profile image

knit1tat2 4 years ago

wow, too much time spent figuring it all out! It's called speed of thought, and yes, by remote viewing you can travel all those places! To do so mechanically, electromagnetic propulsion gets you around gravity, and from there, the ships driven by community thought are my most favorite!

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 4 years ago Author

@knit1tat2: Too much time figuring it all out? Wrong. Too little time. I have a day job. If I had to close all of my lenses but two, IGT would be one of the two that I would keep open. Intergalactic Travel is for me my life's work and my lifework and for other people it is also their lifework. They will be remembered for their contribution to the project. If I could, I would do IGT research and development full time. And someday I shall. Fortunately, people are intelligent and respect that this is the efforts of mathematicians, scientists, engineers, cheerleaders (and other encouraging supporters), and business people to birth the biggest project of all time. Bigger than building the pyramids, the Panama Canal, and the Great Wall of China. Bigger than the Apollo Project that put humans on the moon. And it will be bigger than the first trips by humans to Mars and to Alpha Centauri. And for those of us who were around when this project was first proposed, it is behind schedule. It does not interest us to be satisfied with sending probes to the outer planets of the Solar System or to image Jupiter-sized planets circling nearby stars. We're not interested in interplanetary travel or interstellar travel. Those missions have their advocates and their tight-knit communities and I won't bore myself by listing those groups. Intergalactic travel or IGT requires a different order of intellect. The best and the brightest. The elite. We wish to use our lives for something exciting. And since it is our lives, we get the final say in how our lives are spent.

Remote viewing? If by this you mean some sort of ESP, then I would remind you that even if such were possible, one cannot take luggage, companions or even one's own body. This is not travel. This is a night's sleep that one is describing. It is impractical. It's only a lens? Thanks Squidoo but one day we have to grow and leave the nest. I have already announced that as soon as funds are raised, then an IGT society will have its own dedicated server and website. Another drawback to psychic remote viewing the cosmos is that there may be other civilizations who may regard it as an invasion of their privacy and may therefore regard it as a hostile act. A good reason to be able to evacuate the galaxy and run for our lives if we piss off a more technically advanced civilization. Impossible you say? Tell that to the Tasmanians who were wiped out of existence when white convicts arrived in Australia. Genocide still happens in places like The Sudan. If by remote viewing you mean remote sensing, then I enjoy the pretty pictures that the Hubble and the probes to other planets send back. But it whets one's appetite for actually going. While NASA is currently developing robot and android astronauts, they still have not figured out why people are turned off by all that and why no one has protested too loudly NASA budget cuts. Some of us (like me) say cut it to zero. Get them out of the way so that red-blooded explorers can have at it. We are humans not machines. Why should I pay taxes for a machine to go when I want to go myself? Remote viewing? No thank you.

Electromagnetic propulsion? It won't get us up to hyperluminal speeds but a galaxyship is likely to have at least seven modes of propulsion.

1. Vernier thrusters and retro rockets for moving a galaxyship a few inches in dry dock.

2. Some sort of booster that does not emit all the scorching flames that the Saturn 5 did. This is for launch and meant to work in conjunction with a mass driver. To compare it with being shot our of a cannon is misleading but a start in conceptualizing what I am describing. The muzzle of a cannon is far too narrow in diameter. The next step in visualizing this is to remember how the Battlestar Galactica launched fighters â but scale it up a hundred times larger or even a thousand times larger. That is the kind of launch tube we are talking about. Galaxyships will be creatures of pure space. None will ever land or even come into low orbit. Due to their enormous size, it may be foolish to even bring one too far inside a stellar system. So the launch tubes for each galaxyship will be floating in space at the galaxyport described elsewhere in this lens.

3. About a minute after launch, a galaxyship will be far enough away from the galaxyport and starships and space walkers and millions of others gathered to see the darn things finally fly that it will be safe to start accelerating to relativistic but sub-light velocity. This third drive would probably be an ion drive or the electromagnetic propulsion you spoke of or a Bussard ramjet or some of the other concepts proposed for starships.

4. Once the ship is out of the Milky Way's galactopause out in intergalactic space where space is thinner, the ship accelerates past 1 celeritas (one times the speed of light) using antimatter or some other method. We'll call it a translight drive.

5. Another method of propulsion we do not currently conceive will be needed to accelerate up to 1 billion celeritas. This drive will be responsible for the superluminal range of speeds.

6. At one billion, there is a theory that says that there is a transition similar to that at the light barrier. A drive to get us safely past this will need to be invented. Let's call it after the theorist who proposed this second barrier.

7. Finally, a drive to maintain cruise speed in the hyperluminal range. Without it, the voyage would take millions of years. Humans generally don't live that long and would get stir crazy on any voyage longer than a few years. Ten years is pushing human endurance. Even in stasis. Few people would appreciate being awakened and told that a million years had passed and that they were not just Rip Van Winkle but a specimen in a zoo. No one wants to be obsolete so it is unfair to ask people to be out of circulation for more than a few years. Ten tops. This is why we have a need for extreme speed.

Knit1tat2 ,the whole project is destined to be taken over by the engineers as the rest of us get out of their way. Does that bother me? Oh contraire. I welcome it. Engineers get things done.

Ships driven by community thought is a poetic way of putting it. I rather like that. Every project began as thought. All we are doing is making it tangible and touchable. Dilithium crystals? I don't know. Hydroponic gardens? Definitely. Could we use some angels? Yes, both the financial kind and the celestial kind (guardian angels). Networking and weaving together an IGT research & development community? Yes.

DakshaDesign1 4 years ago

Thanks for Great post. I really like this article.

StrongMay 4 years ago

Wow! Love this lense! and great pictures. I'll be back.

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 4 years ago Author

@DakshaDesign1: I may have thanked you before but I'm thanking you again. Guide to Intergalactic Travel is one of my two favorites.

AishwaryaTiwari1 profile image

AishwaryaTiwari1 4 years ago

Grt lens, good info, amazing snaps !!

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 4 years ago Author

@DakshaDesign1: Thanks

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 4 years ago Author

@StrongMay: Thanks

travelerme 4 years ago

I think that anyone that is interested in this should join NASA or that Dutch company that is going to Mars (Mars-one).

I also think anyone interested should go to the NASA site and look up 'Orion Mission-1'

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 4 years ago Author

@travelerme: I cannot imagine NASA being interested in intergalactic travel or even taking it seriously. It is way too rich for their blood. They stick to safe stuff like going up to low Earth orbit. NASA is looking at cislunar travel again and interplanetary travel to Mars. There are people at NASA who study interstellar travel concepts but only a retired NASA engineer ever looked at intergalactic travel and he did his study _AFTER_ leaving NASA not while there.

Most of this space cowardice at NASA is budget driven. And no, I do not want them to get a bigger budget and compete with private enterprise. I am glad you brought up that Dutch company because I dismissed their project as just blue sky from Copenhagen Suborbital, which is a different organization that I should not disparage either. When I looked into it, yes Mars One has a workable business idea. Whether they pull it off or not only time will tell but they are in the interplanetary travel business not the intergalactic travel. That is two orders of magnitude less than what Guide to Intergalactic Travel.

There is probably someone on Earth who would be a better advocate for IGT than me. The people I have known who aspired to any kind of leadership role in the IGT were ready to ditch and pursue terrestrial projects at the first hiccup. I can understand wanting to choose to join the interplanetary travel development community or the interstellar travel development community but bailing altogether is . . . .

There are distinct differences between those interested in cislunar, interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic projects and here is why:

1. Cislunar requires no new technology. It will get new technology but it doesn't really need it. What it needs is motivation to go because the money involved is not that much on Wall Street.

2. Interplanetary development is primarily the bailiwick of venture capitalists and investment bankers. The way the National Geographic, NASA and the Discovery Channel might do it will run into the trillions. Done on the cheap, it would still cost billions. Of course we are talking about Mars since other than myself few are talking about Mercury or Ceres. And Venus is a tough cookie. Again, all of the technology to terraform and colonize Mars already exists. Even argon and xenon ion rockets (like VASIMR) are becoming available as a means of propulsion.

3. Interstellar development has come a long way from the days when only a few theoreticians were interested. The US Air Force, several universities, several foundations and several membership groups are now involved. Even DARPA has an interest. The challenges are primarily engineering if one only looks at current progress in physics.

4. Intergalactic travel (IGT) people enter their subject fully aware that no one outside their community will understand them. And since practical IGT requires faster than light speed and time dilation compensation technology and artificial gravity and a whole raft of other technologies that no one outside their community even believes is possible; IGT people also expect to attract fringe types who do not help the cause (and may embarrass it). They also expect to encounter laymen who have heard the word galaxy and intergalactic so often misused in science fiction and in the media that people usually use the word intergalactic when what they really mean is orbital or cislunar or interplanetary or interstellar. After a while, one gets tired of explaining the difference between interstellar and intergalactic and one simply stops talking to non-IGT people. Which is really bad because public relations savvy would greatly benefit the project. IGT has the quadruple whammy of needing to make scientific breakthroughs, make engineering breakthroughs (primarily in macroengineering), raise the funding without a penny of government tax dollars (so that government will not be able to stop the project) -- you might call it financial engineering, and sustain high motivation (psychological engineering) in the face of no encouragement. So the challenges dwarf anything that the other space communities face and that is what attracts smart people to IGT. You do not really need to be that bright to do cislunar, interplanetary or interstellar development. You just need average intelligence. But IGT is not just about IQ. It is also about creativity and doing the impossible and human potential when everyone else says give up and accept a dull future in space -- if at all. IGT people do not totally buy into string theory and do not interpret Albert Einstein's work as forbidding faster than light travel. Like the shock at the transition from slower than sound to faster than sound, there may be a light barrier whereby travel at the the speed of light is foolish but travel slower or faster than light is somewhat smoother. The need for not needing infinite energy or moving infinite mass means radical design concepts. Radical means that people will be upset. Good. Let them be upset. Faster than light is only a hypothesis not even a theory. But there is no law against trying a different mathematical approach or even applying a different math.

Even intergalactic space itself is fundamentally different from cislunar and interplanetary and interstellar space. The familiar gravity wells are attenuated. We are not talking about satellite galaxies. We are talking about primary galaxies about which satellite galaxies orbit. Between primary galaxies, space itself is stretching so that unless breakthroughs are made all voyages could be one way trips. Perhaps the expanding universe where primary galaxies are all retreating from each other was God's way of making sure that intergalactic wars are too much trouble to start. But the very vast distances are precisely what attracts many to IGT. Many would leave the Milky Way and not look back. A good riddance attitude that I do not share but I accept that others feel that way.

After looking at a lot of science fiction with meddling from some central government that is up to no good, one can understand why people would go to such extremes to get away from the Milky Way. The way people left Europe and Asia for similar reasons.

Any way you slice it -- physics, engineering, finance, psychology, sociology, medicine, or law -- IGT is very different from interstellar and interplanetary development.

Loretta L profile image

Loretta L 2 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

I have to say that this is, without doubt, the most unusual and fascinating lens I have ever come across. I do not have the right mindset for exploration. I do not have an explorer mentality - but I hope with all my heart that you get there. And I hope that you will come back and tell us about it, or at least find a way of contacting us all from there. I would love to know what you find, what is out there. My very best wishes to you all.

Toni-Roman profile image

Toni-Roman 2 years ago Author

@Loretta L: Not the first time I have encountered people who say that IGT is not for them but wish bon voyage. Perhaps a few more well wishers (meaning a lot more) will donate some resources and help make it real. What resources? Donating time.

Bob Burruss 23 months ago

I want to thank Toni-Roman, or whoever it was, who wrote this following reference to me in 'Guide to Intergalactic Travel':

"While we reject Burruss's travel slow approach, we honor him as one of our first inspirations. Leave the guy alone."


Bob Burruss (

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article