WASHINGTON — The Defense Department first proposed Star Wars, now it wants Star Trek. The Pentagon research agency that helped foster the Internet now wants someone to dream up a way to send people to a star.
The winner will get half a million dollars for the idea. This month 150 competitors answered the federal government’s initial call for private sector cosmic ideas. Officials say some big names are among those interested. The plan is for interstellar travel in about a century.
The government’s trademarked 100-year Starship Study concept comes from DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It’s spending a total of $1 million on the project. At a conference in Orlando, Florida, this fall the agency will decide who gets the money.