In Brief

Interstellar Space Travel Art Contest Launches

Interstellar space travel concept art
Artist Stephan Martiniere, who created this vision of future space travel, will judge the first-ever FarMaker Interstellar Speed Sketch contest at the Starship Congress conference on interstellar travel. (Image credit: Stephan Martiniere/<a href=>National Geographic</a>)

Sometimes, artists are just as qualified as engineers to envision future technology. Now, an organization aiming to spur the technologies needed for interstellar space travel is asking artists to sketch the vehicles that could take humanity to the stars. Submissions are open to the FarMaker Interstellar Speed Sketch 2013 contest, being organized in conjunction with a conference on interstellar travel called Starship Congress, to run Aug. 15 to 18 in Dallas, Texas. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.

This year's theme for the contest is Project Daedalus, a study conducted by the British Interplanetary Society in the 1970s that investigated nuclear fusion-powered interstellar spacecraft. Winners of the contest, which will be judged by illustrator and concept artist Stephan Martiniere, a guest of honor and keynote speaker at Starship Congress, will be included in an upcoming book on Project Daedalus. Entrants may spend between 5 minutes and 1.5 hours sketching concept art on the following themes:

Building: Interstellar technology helps a city thrive on Earth, its shipyards busy with the building of our first starcraft. What is it like
Journeying: The Daedalus spacecraft bridges the vastness between stars. How does it feel?
Arriving: We reach our destination. What do we find?
Freeform: A bracket for dynamic and realistic visions we can't yet foresee.
For more information on the space art contest and Starship Congress, visit:

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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.