Starflight Academy

Starship Congress 2021 takes a giant leap forward. Tomorrow, we Build a Starship. And today? Today, we train the crew.

When Dr Richard Obousy, Dr Andreas Tziolas, and I created an interstellar conference for Icarus Interstellar in 2013, we needed a name that captured the spirit of the event as well as a slogan that communicated the vision of the organization.

This is what inspired me to come up with the name Starship Congress, and the adjacent slogan, Build A Starship. I spoke to this creative process at the inaugural Starship Congress in the talk I gave,“Build A Starship”. (Video excerpt below. Here’s the full audio version.)

My favorite part of that talk in outlining the goals is: Never mind who gets the credit.

The original Build A Starship bumpersticker, 2013.

In 2013, we declared Build a Starship and began passing out of bumper stickers and wristbands. Within in a few years this turned into thousands.

In 2018, Elon Musk named and is now building a Starship.

We all have the authority to make a difference in the world. Which is why for Starship Congress 2021, with me again at the helm and the building of a Starship well under way, we are course correcting.

Starflight Academy

Starship Congress 2021, December 11, is being staged as a training camp for the first crew of an interstellar starship. It is called Starflight Academy.

How would we train today’s students for tomorrow’s adventures in space–as space travelers, explorers, and professionals? Starflight Academy is the introduction to interstellar space concepts such as light speed, warp drives, and interstellar distances.

Starflight Academy is the name Dr Andreas Tziolas came up with for a degree program for older students. (Here is the original paper.) Working together several years ago, he and I were inspired to reimagine it as a training for younger students.

When I was invited to return as director of Starship Congress for 2021, I agreed as long as we could break from the past and realign the event for the future. As long as we could make it for the students today who will be helming the Starships in the future. And that is what we agreed to do.

Bringing together some of the premier interstellar space science thinkers, creators, and educators, Starflight Academy is an introduction for young students into the ideas and concepts they will be working with in the very near future.

Attendance is limited to the first 20–40 registrants, ages 9–13. All registrations are fully paid for: We are using NFTs this year to pay for the entire event–as well as to raise the funds necessary to pay for the cochlear implants of deaf American mathematician-physicist Tiffany Frierson.

Frierson gave a talk at Starship Congress 2017, and is a committed member of the interstellar space community. Considering her value and contributions to the interstellar space science community, we are grateful to be in the position to use the success of Starship Congress to support her surgery and implants.

Starflight Academy is December 11, 2021. “To a Star. That’s not too Far.” Here we go!

Attendees may register here. First come, first served.

UPDATE: Instructors Announced

In alphabetical order, our inaugural Instructors for Starflight Academy are:

Dr Rachel Armstrong

Dr. Rachel Armstrong is Professor of Experimental Architecture at the Department of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University.

Tiffany Frierson

Tiffany Frierson is a coder-mathematician-physicist of note. Tiffany Frierson is deaf.

Dr Hollis Robbins

Dr. Hollis Robbins is Dean of the School of Arts & Humanities at Sonoma State University.

Dr Graham Lau

Dr. Graham Lau is an astrobiologist and communicator of science.


Mecyver= Founder + Designer + Architect + Strategist + Bike Rider · hybrid title= “Maker of Magic + Creator of Cool”

Mike Mongo

Mike Mongo is an astronaut teacher and founder of Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Job Camp.

Dr Andreas Tziolas

Dr Andreas Tziolas is the President and co-founder of Icarus Interstellar.

Mike Mongo, Astronaut Teacher, is the author of best-selling children’s book, The Astronaut Instruction Manual, and host of YouTube for Kids’ channel Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Adventures. Mr Mongo is the official ambassador of ULA-supported Johnny Appleseed in Space, and founder of The HUMANNAIRES Initiative, Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Job Camp, and Starflight Academy.

For more information about Starship Congress 2021: Starflight Academy, contact:
Mike Mongo




My name is Mike Mongo and I’m an astronaut teacher! Plus: NFTs; YouTube/Astronaut Adventures; author, The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

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Mike Mongo

Mike Mongo

My name is Mike Mongo and I’m an astronaut teacher! Plus: NFTs; YouTube/Astronaut Adventures; author, The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

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