To the Initiative for Interstellar Studies

Scientia ad Sidera

Knowledge to the Stars

We conduct

Credible research into the science and technology of Starships

We seek

To make new artificial and natural habitats whilst finding ways

to improve the Earth and help the Life that it has nurtured

We Work

Towards a capable and confident

human species in interplanetary space

We Inspire

and motivate the public about the achievements of
space exploration and give optimism for the future


We Aspire

to foster and create a star colonising civilisation

We Search

the Universe and seek out intelligent life elsewhere

Latest News

Monday, 29th August 2016

Starship Engineer Course/Workshops 12/13th November

The Initiative for Interstellar Studies in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society will deliver an updated Starship Engineer workshop course. Two one day courses, either attend one or both, each will be different and important in their own way.  To book contact the team at: info@i4is.org  for more details. 12th... Read more
Wednesday, 13th April 2016

Breakthrough Initiative 'Starshot'

PRESS RELEASE: Breakthrough Initiative ‘Starshot’ The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) congratulates the Breakthrough Initiative on their recently announced Project ‘Starshot’ (http://breakthroughinitiatives.org/News/4). This is a $100 million research and engineering programme that aims to develop a proof of concept for light beam-powered nanocrafts and laying the foundations for an eventual launch to Alpha Centauri within a generation.  Read more
Wednesday, 06th April 2016

I4is to deliver 2-week module at ISU

I4is will be delivering a 2-week elective module to the students on the Masters of Space Studies course at the International Space University in May.  This elective is intended to broaden and also deepen the student’s appreciation of aerospace and astronautics engineering, space science and astronomy with a range of topics covering mainly starship design and technology but also aspects of philosophical, social and other considerations.  Although it looks forward beyond what is... Read more
Saturday, 07th November 2015

Principium 11 Published

We are pleased to bring you the 11th issue of our popular interstellar community magazine Principium. This issue contains articles on the laser-sail project dragonfly, photometric SETI and reports from the US Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop and Starship Congress Interstellar hackathon. We hope you enjoy reading it and do write to us if... Read more
Tuesday, 29th September 2015

Starship Engineer

We are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting and new innovative educational product "Starship Engineer". This will be rolled out on the 24th November, and will be followed on the 25th November by a day on the physics and engineering of science fiction starships. To book your place contact i4is at info@i4is.org and see the attached... Read more
Wednesday, 15th April 2015

Project Dragonfly: Sail to the Stars!

Project Dragonfly: Sail to the Stars.... Kickstarter Campaign now launched - help us to support our student design teams...pledge and share with your networks, thank you! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1465787600/project-dragonfly-sail-to-the-stars The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (I4IS) is aiming to launch humanity’s... Read more
Thursday, 22nd October 2015

Interstellar Minimum presentation

While attending the Starfest at the weekend, i4is Deputy Director Rob Swinney, was delighted to present to Kieran Twaites the Interstellar Minimum pass certificate. A notable success for Kieran who is in year 9 at school yet the IM test had otherwise stumped some graduates. Congratulations Kieran! Read more
Friday, 28th August 2015

Annual award for Masters project

This year's Initiative for Interstellar Studies prize for the best interstellar themed Individual Project is awarded to International Space University MSS15 student Melissa Guzman.  Melissa's project was one of several ISU Masters projects undertaken in collaboration with i4is which had devised them and supplied technical advisers. The project entitled Space Eternal Memory was a study into the options of storing information in space for a very long time and interestingly uses product... Read more
Saturday, 04th July 2015

Project Dragonfly Competition Workshop

The students participating in the Project Dragonfly competition travelled to London to present their final concepts in front of a jury and interested peers on Friday, July 3rd.   Read more
Wednesday, 22nd April 2015

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky Revisited - i4is at the UK Annual SF Eastercon 2015 - Dysprosium

Here are the spreadsheets and the pictures from "Konstantin Tsiolkovsky revisited - or how to use a spreadsheet to design a starship" from i4is at the UK Annual SF Eastercon 2015 - Dysprosium The material from our other show, Imagineering Starships, will be along soon!     Read more


The mission of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) is to foster and promote education, knowledge and technical capabilities which lead to designs, technologies or enterprise that will enable the construction and launch of interstellar spacecraft. The vision of the Initiative for Interstellar Studies is to aspire towards an optimistic future for humans on Earth and in space. Our bold vision is to be an organisation that is central to catalysing the conditions in society over the next century to enable robotic and human exploration of the frontier beyond our Solar System and to other stars, as part of a long-term enduring strategy and towards a sustainable space-based economy. 

Who We Are

We started work on the organisation in August 2012, sixty years after the first serious academic research paper to address the interstellar problem, published by Dr Les Shepherd in 1952. Since then we have been steadily developing our business model, various activities and constitutional structures. Our ambition is to create a global network of Institutes under the banner “Institute for Interstellar Studies”, although due to restrictions on UK law, the use of that name has to be demonstrated first. Hence, we are an ‘initiative’ that is seeking to become an ‘institute’. The name “…for Interstellar Studies” is in honour of the special red cover issues of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society (JBIS) published between 1974 and 1991.

These issues, dedicated to interstellar flight, interstellar communications and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) have done more than any other activity to promote, advocate and support the interstellar vision. Indeed, the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) has been the ‘torch holders’ of the interstellar vision for much of the last half century. It can be said therefore, that i4is is a direct spin-off from the BIS and its work to promote and advocate advancements in astronautics. 

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