In Greek mythology, Icarus was the impulsive son who ignored his father's warning about flying too close to the sun. But the students in the Drexel University chapter of Icarus Interstellar are much too dedicated to do anything that careless. Besides, they're aiming for a star located even farther away.

Those students went above and beyond to create the first chapter at any university of Icarus Interstellar, an international nonprofit foundation dedicated to achieving interstellar flight—travel to star systems beyond our own solar system—by the year 2100. The research-oriented organization's mandate is to train the next generation of interstellar engineers, so the idea of a Drexel chapter organization wasn't very far-fetched.

Icarus is attempting to build the first-ever mission to Alpha Centauri, the star system located the closest to our solar system. The timing of the project is especially important because no other similar missions are planned and the only mission that could reach a neighboring solar system—the Voyager spacecraft launched into space in 1977—will take tens of thousands of years. Icarus' Project Tin Tin aims to reach the nearest star in about one-third of the Voyager's time, even though the Voyager will have received a 40-year head start.

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