Part of the urgency behind the commercial space travel movement, as well as comments from innovators like SpaceX founder Elon Musk about wanting to migrate to Mars, are rooted in the notion that to survive in the long-term, humanity must move out into the stars and become a multi-planet (and multi-solar system) species. A DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) initiative, called the 100 Year Starship, is squarely focused on promoting this notion of moving humans into space within the next century.
Led by astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison, the initiative includes a comprehensive website and a series of presentations designed to educate the public about the need to move humans off the planet as soon as possible. To help stir interest in and illustrate the importance of this initiative, coder and designer Robert Hodgin created this stunning virtual trip to the stars, complete with information detailing time and distance between stars, as well as a number of visual effects that make the trip feel somewhat realistic.
The entire experience has been turned into a screensaver that requires a donation to download, but you can see an extended sample of the virtual journey, as well as an explanation of the 100 Year Starship project by Dr. Jemison, in the videos below.