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Guest contributor Paul Gilster is a founding member of the Tau Zero Foundation, a non-profit group of scientists dedicated to the incremental advancement of interstellar spaceflight. Project Icarus, one of the Foundation's key initiatives, has reached a major milestone and Paul shares this exciting project with Discovery News. Paul also maintains Centauri Dreams, the news forum of the Tau Zero Foundation.

Marc Millis steeples his fingers, leaning back in his chair to ponder a question from one of the practitioner scientists of the Tau Zero Foundation.

He's in Austin, Texas, for a session devoted to roughing-out ideas and organization plans for the young organization with an ambitious goal: Build a practical groundwork for interstellar flight within sound, peer-reviewed physics; establish the basics that will one day lead -- whether in decades or centuries -- to technologies that can take us to the stars.

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Category: Science