The Institute for Interstellar Studies (I4IS) has awarded ISU MSc13 student Piotr Murzionak its award for the best interstellar-themed Individual Project. Piotr’s project was one of several ISU MSc projects undertaken in collaboration with I4IS which devised them and supplied technical advisors.
Piotr’s project was a conceptual study to design an interstellar precursor mission to the gravitational lensing point of the Sun using a solar sailing-type architecture. He envisaged the spacecraft reaching 550-800 AU with a cruising speed of 15-41 AU/year and the payload of 2 to 3 tonnes. To design his mission he had to cover three quite diverse topics: space-based interferometry, gravitational lensing and solar sailing.
An I4IS certificate and a cheque for €500 was awarded to Piotr at the MSc13 graduation ceremony on 29 August 2013. Professor Chris Welch, the Director of the Masters program said, "We commend Piotr for the vision, range and detail of his work. We are extremely pleased at the outcome of our first collaboration with I4IS which demonstrates ISU's engagement with the 'long view' of space exploration, and follow very clearly the vision of our first Chancellor, Sir Arthur C Clarke."