Technical Competition 2020/21 (Prizes totalling £5000).

The British Interplanetary Society (based in London), is seeking entries and good idea for its competition on: The storage and handling of antihydrogen.
The closing date for entries is 21. June 2021
Entry form link: Technical Competition 2020/21 – The British Interplanetary Society (

Since its beginning the British Interplanetary Society has looked towards the manned exploration of the solar system and therefore it is no surprise that, currently, its Technical Committee has on-going studies of advanced propulsion and space colonies. Many problems stand in the way of these and the other achievements necessary for the permanent human habitation of space.

As the members of the BIS know, and an increasing proportion of the rest of the human race are beginning to realise, a colony off-earth would provide some assurance of survival in the advent of one of the many possible catastrophes that threaten our extinction. As I write this during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, I am acutely aware that infection is  at least one of these threats.

In recent years there have been many studies of the various dooms we face, whether cosmic, natural or anthropomorphic. One of the popular summaries of these is ‘Our Final Century’ by Martin Rees of the Royal Astronomical Society. Since a race of humans inhabiting parts of the solar system could avoid nearly all of these dooms, it is therefore of the highest importance that the problems blocking progress to this end are removed.

While some of these problems blocking our way are simple to identify and understand, such as the threat of radiations of all kinds or the excessively long travel times that are currently necessary between the main components of the solar system, others, such as the absence of a terrestrial gravity field, are not. It is clear that for the BIS membership to be sure that the goal of human expansion into the solar system can be achieved at all it must, first, aid the identification of the diverse problems which inhibit this goal, and, second, stimulate suggestions and discussion as to how these problems may be addressed and possible solutions for them evolved. By doing this, the BIS will fulfil its role of an inspirational lead, pointing the way, as it was set up to do by our founders.I will begin a discussion of the problems in a short item in a following Spaceflight which I hope will stimulate a series of articles on each one identified.

Identifying  problems is one thing, solving them is another and a major role of the BIS in the future will be, as I have said, to stimulate their solution. I therefore am pleased to announce what I hope will be the first in a continuing series of prizes aimed at producing suggested solutions to the problems barring human cosmic development. This first prize is looking for ideas that can point the way to highly energetic propulsion systems, thus reducing the transit times between solar-system objects.