SSI has always prided itself on focusing our resources on projects that work to provide technologies that further the cause of space settlement and permanent life off Earth.  We’ve announced two efforts, the G-Lab and the E-Lab, to provide technologies required for understanding the amount of gravitational force and practical closed life-support systems required for long-term or permanent human habitation in space.  

To these projects we have added the Exotic Propulsion Initiative, to explore exotic propulsion opportunities at the very borderlands of physics.

Much public and press excitement has been generated by the DARPA-funded “100 Year Starship” effort, and work on warp drive theory and concepts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  

Prof. Jim Woodward has donated major royalties from his new book to kick start SSI's Exotic Propulsion Initiative

Prof. Jim Woodward has donated major royalties from his new book to kick start SSI’s Exotic Propulsion Initiative

An intriguing and thoughtful recent book by Professor Jim Woodward, Making Starships and Stargates: The Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration), has further heightened interest in “exotic” physics propulsion concepts.  

While no one can predict if or when these technologies might become practical, we can say for certain that not funding basic research will consign any breakthroughs to the realm of science fiction forever.  

Accordingly, SSI has established our Exotic Propulsion Initiative to take bold new risks that are unlikely to find conventional funding.  Donations to the project will be first used to extend and replicate Professor Woodward’s provocative research findings at his lab at CalState Fullerton, and as resources permit, to open new avenues of exploration into advanced propulsion with other scientists.  

Professor Woodward has donated major royalties from his book to SSI in order to jump-start this project’s funding.  We are grateful for his donation and are very pleased to be able to offer an opportunity to all interested parties to extend and increase his gift.


A warm Thank You to the many friends, Members, Associates and Senior Associates and to all of the just plain interested people who downloaded the Space Studies Institute Kindle edition of Gerard K. O’Neill’s The High Frontier during our four day free promotion.

Last night the free offer wrapped up on and while they don’t expose details of who received copies, the current count being 4711 makes it look to us like there is still quite a bit of interest in the large-scale Human Habitation of Space.

From some of the comments we’ve read and notes we’ve received over the past few days we do know that there are a lot of people taking advantage of the Kindle edition to save wear and tear on print copies that they’ve had for years.  That’s great news.  But let’s consider the other hundreds,  or perhaps thousands of people for whom the Kindle edition is providing their very first personal view of the exciting and attainable benefits that can come from regular people living and working and making a difference for all of humanity in The High Frontier.

Over and over again, people have responded to The High Frontier with the words “It changed my life.” That kind of talk can seem strange but new readers will quickly see that this book is about how we truly can change millions of lives for the better and how we *should* do that because it just makes sense.

Space-based Solar Power, Mass Drivers for putting lunar and asteroidal resources to good use, Large (really large) Space habitats; The ability and the need for people to make big, important things become real.  That’s the High Frontier.

If you hear from someone who missed the free promotion period, remind them that the Kindle list price is pretty low and proceeds after Amazon costs go to support the research and projects and even the rent so that SSI can continue to promote and fund work leading to the big goals for Humans in Space.

For those who prefer paper there is the third edition published in 2000 by Apogee Press []. The third edition adds commentary and detail that can be of benefit to anyone who needs to know even more about the subjects Dr. O’Neill made mainstream.  The release of the Kindle edition does not mean an either/or choice has to be made.  Both versions have much to tell.

Getting the book or downloading The High Frontier Kindle edition is just the start, and we hope the free giveaways helped make that start easy.  Reading the book all the way through is the next easy step.  The step after that is the most important of all because if the process ends when the last page of the book has been read, then even free was not worth it.  The High Frontier is not a passive environment, it takes hard science and professional engineering as well as passion. It also takes money.

The good thing is, seeing Humanity finally have the choice to live permanently in Space is going to be worth every effort and every single, solitary penny.

Many believe that Human Settlement of Space is going to happen eventually whether any individual is part of it or not. Some of us believe that if we do get personally involved then it can happen a lot sooner.

If you got the message from The High Frontier and you feel that a donation is workable for you, there’s a Paypal link at the upper right corner of SSI.ORG for donations and for memberships. Some friends are big supporters, it’s true, but no support is too small.

Thank you.


At Space Access 2013 SSI President Gary Hudson announced the release of Gerard K. O’Neill’s classic The High Frontier as an exclusive Amazon Kindle ebook.

Today we have another announcement: From Saturday April 20th to Tuesday April 23rd, the Kindle edition of The High Frontier is absolutely free. Just open the Kindle app on your iOS, Android, Windows PC or Mac and type High Frontier in the Kindle store, or get your free Kindle edition directly from the website here: The High Frontier.

Continue reading »