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Win $500,000

Updated on June 18, 2011

At Home Scientist

Sliderule and Airplanes
Sliderule and Airplanes

The Competition

It is true; the Department of Defense is offering the chance for somebody to win $ ½ million.

All you have to do is, dream up a way for some one to reach the nearest star.

Not, how to send a probe, satellite or robot, a person.

The nearest star is only about 25 trillion miles away and with current technology it would only take 4000 years to reach. So that isn’t much to do. Let’s all get out our slide rules and model airplane kits and have a go.

Wait a minute, it’s not that easy. To get the money, we will also have to provide the details of how the person will survive a long period in space, diet, medicines, exercise and ethics etc. Looks like, we’ll have to take out, our cook books and aerobics videos too.

Oh, hang on, it doesn’t look like we get the money for ourselves, it is a down payment to build the project. Err, maybe we shouldn’t bother.


The Department of Defense
The Department of Defense

Seriously Though

Seriously, they have some of the finest brains in math, science and engineering and this is what they can come up with. Now I know the saying that “experts don’t have the monopoly on good ideas” but really, you want us to do everything for you.

Apparently they have already aroused the interest of about 150 people, some of them quite prominent, but I can’t help thinking that this is rigged.

Firstly, they could have offered this a long time ago; secondly it seems strange to ask so much at one time.

I suspect that the truth is: They have already heard that somebody has come up with a theory on this but that person is more likely to take it to a foreign Government. They are trying to tempt that person into their arms. Not particularly with the money but by the inference that they may head the project, something other Governments may not allow.

The Department says that with this initiative they hope to be able to reach a star by the end of the century. Considering all the planning, building and science involved, that is a leap in deed from what WE know today.

What springs to my mind is this: Why is the Defense Department doing this, not NASA?

A project of this nature should surely be a joint venture including all nations; I hope that it is not signifying the start of a “land grab” in space already.

My conclusion is that there is a lot more to this than we are being told and that the so called “competition” is a smoke screen to more sinister things and can also be used as a tool in denying critical knowledge up to this point.


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    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Perhaps the DoD discovered some threat and wants to create a "Noah's Ark" to save some of humanity (Americans). Is there a brown dwarf headed smack in the middle of our Solar system? Even if it didn't hit anything, it would certainly disrupt orbits enough to devastate the climate.

      Or did American scientists detect a radio signal from a nearby star? Maybe the DoD plans to drop into E.T.'s home unannounced.

      As for "land grab," there is a UN sanction against national land grabs in space. Not that the USA pays much heed to the UN. Alas, will American arrogance be to its undoing? I hope not. A little humility is a good thing.

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 6 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hello, rafken, as you tell it, it does seem kind of silly doesn't it?

      1 I goes with out saying that propulsion system are going to have to be far more capable than what they currently are, or all this is dead on arrival.

      2. Even if we can attain speeds in the area of .60C. With such a trip taking 10-15 years one way, how do you carry enough supplies for a round trip? It is simply insurmountable in terms of our current capability and will require breakthroughs that are not even on the drawing board yet

      Great hub, thanks

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi rafken, very interesting !

    • profile image

      mib56789 6 years ago

      I described your HUB as funny because it reminded me of me. As a former federal employee I can tell you that we "on the Inside" are way more paranoid conspiratorial thinkers that those "on the Outside". But I can't tell you why. They might come and get me! (Smile! Wink. Wink.)

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

      too cool! I find myself agreeing wth you right down the conspiracy stairwell