NASA deep space expert
Described as "a rock star in the world of space geeks", Marc Millis is best known for creating NASA's visionary "Breakthrough Propulsion Physics project" and for his subsequent book, Frontiers of Propulsion Science (AIAA 2009). This book is the first scholarly compilation of research toward interstellar space drives and faster-than-light flight. When NASA went retro with "Apollo on Steroids" and on a "Food Stamps" budget, Millis decided to take an early retirement (2010) to devote full time to his nonprofit Tau Zero Foundation. Tau Zero uses the long-range goal of star flight to provoke revolutionary advancements. With a network of fellow pioneers and scouts in technical, journalistic, and artistic venues, incremental studies have begun, and that progress is conveyed to the public via their Centauri Dreams news forum. With such mischief, it was inevitable that Millis would get caught up in the recent "100-year starship organization study," kicked off by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Where that effort will lead is unfolding as you read this.
On the more conventional side, Millis has designed ion thrusters, electronic instrumentation for rocket engines, and even a cockpit display to guide aircraft microgravity flights. Millis earned a BS in Physics from Georgia Tech (1982), a MS in Physics Entrepreneurship from Case Western Reserve University (2006), and is an alumnus of the International Space University Summer Session (1998). For recreation he also enjoys building things, scale models, gadgets, and Halloween costumes.