Paper extolling the benefits from interstellar spaceflight
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This guy is thinking ahead: a paper extolling the scientific benefits of interstellar space travel (published in a 2009 issue of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society) was made available today on the Los Alamos astro-ph website. Fun quote from the abstract:
Significant benefits are identified in the fields of interstellar medium studies, stellar astrophysics, planetary science and astrobiology. In the latter three areas the benefits would be considerably enhanced if the interstellar vehicle is able to decelerate from its interstellar cruise velocity to rest relative to the target system. Although this will greatly complicate the mission architecture, and extend the overall travel time, the scientific benefits are such that this option should be considered seriously in future studies.