An anonymous reader writes "In the New York Times, Kenneth Chang writes about the 100-year starship conference, where "an eclectic mix of engineers, scientists, science fiction fans, students and dreamers" discussed ideas for how to travel across interstellar space, including "how to organize and finance a century-long project; whether civilization would survive, because an engine to propel a starship could also be used for a weapon to obliterate the planet; and whether people need to go along for the trip."
Some of the proposals were pretty far out, such as Joseph Breeden's concept for an engine-less starship (propelled using a gravity slingshot on a near-sun trajectory). Others were a little less forward thinking, although still futuristic by current standards of space exploration: nuclear rockets, fusion, lightsails, and so forth.
So, can we go to the stars? Wait a hundred years, and we'll see!"
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