Marc G. Millis
AST / Propulsion Physics
NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field
21000 Brookpark Rd., MS 86-2
Cleveland, OH 44135-3191
Marc Millis is NASA's leading expert on Breakthrough
Propulsion Physics - covering such visionary goals as gravity control, space drives, and faster-than-light
travel. This topic requires a challenging blend of vision and rigor to
identify and chip away at the relevant unknowns. When funded
(1996-2002), the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project assessed 8
different research approaches and documented its findings in 16 peer-reviewed journal reports.
With NASA's emphasis on returning to the Moon, this work is no longer
Millis joined Cleveland's Glenn Research Center in 1982 after
earning a degree in Physics from Georgia
Tech. His assignments evolved from engineering support
and eventually into project
management. The work spanned designing ion
thrusters, electronics for
rocket monitoring, rocket fuel
equipment, and even a cockpit
display that guides aircraft flights to create
weightlessness. All the while Millis spent his discretionary time
pondering how to make rocketry obsolete, which eventually led to the
creation of the Breakthrough
Propulsion Physics Project. This work gained wide public
attention, being cited in Newsweek,
Wired, Popular Science
(May 2001 cover), New
York Times and most recently in the books Centauri Dreams
(Gilster 2004) and in I'm
Working On That (Shatner & Walter 2002). This work
also earned Millis a nomination for a 2004
World Technology Award.
Millis recently completed a Masters of Science degree in Physics Entrepreneurship
from Case Western
Reserve University (2006) and is an alumnus of the International Space University
Summer Session (1998).
Millis pursues futuristic visions outside of NASA
too. Leveraging the allure of science fiction beyond what can
be done in government and academia, Millis founded the nonprofit Tau Zero Foundation
in 2006, to accelerate progress and education toward practical
interstellar flight. In 2005, Millis authored: "Making the jump to
light-speed" a chapter in the National Geographic book: Star Wars - Where Science Meets
Imagination. For hobbies, Millis enjoys craftsmanship;
building award-winning scale models, Halloween costumes, and other
mischief. With specialties in science fiction models built from scrap
plastic and 1960's slot cars, he occasionally publishes
“how-to” articles and photographs. Amidst all of
this, Millis enjoys time as a husband and father.
- Millis, M. G. and Davis, E. W. (eds.) (2009) Frontiers of Propulsion Science,
Volume 227 of the series, Progress in Astronautics and
Aeronautics Series, American Institute
for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
- Millis, M. G. (2005) Assessing Potential Propulsion
Trends in Astrodynamics and Applications, Edward Belbruno
(ed), Annals of the New
York Academy of Sciences, 1065:
441-461. +WebPage +PDF
- Millis, M. G. (2004) Breakthrough
Propulsion Physics Project: Project Management Methods,
- Millis, M. G. (2004) Prospects
for Breakthrough Propulsion from Physics, NASA
- Zampino, Edward. J. & Millis, M. G. (2003) The
Potential Application of Risk Assessment to the Breakthrough Propulsion
Physics Project. Annual
Reliability and Maintainability Symposium 2003 Proceedings,
ISSN 0149-144X: 164-169.
- Millis, M. G. (2000) Social Impact of Access to Space
Frontiers (the internal news publication of NASA Glenn Research Center),
- Millis, M. G. (1999) NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics
- Millis, M. G., & Williamson, G. S. (1999) NASA Breakthrough Propulsion
Physics Workshop Proceedings, NASA CP-1999-208694.
- Millis, M. G. (1998) Illustrative Example: Destination
Mars [Fiction], Hazards
to Spaceflight, International Space University Summer Program 1998:
Sec. 2.3, 15-19.
- Millis, M. G. (1997) Challenge to Create the Space Drive. AIAA Journal of Propulsion and
- Millis, M. G. (1996) Design Factors for
Applying Cryogen Storage and Delivery Technology to Solar Thermal
Propulsion, NASA TM-107379.
- Millis, M. G., & Williamson, G. S. (1995) Experimental Results of
Hooper’s Gravity Electromagnetic Coupling Concept,
- Millis, M. G. (1993) What is Vision 21? Vision 21: Interdisciplinary Science and
Engineering in the Era of Cyberspace, NASA CP 10129: 3-6.
- Millis, M. G. (1991) Technology Readiness
Assessment of Advanced Space Engine Integrated Controls and Health
Monitoring, NASA TM-105255.
- Millis, M. G. (1990) Exploring the Notion of Space
Coupling Propulsion. Vision
21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium, NASA CP 10059:
- Millis, M. G. (1990) Speculating on Space Futures. Space Policy, 6(4): 353-356.
- Rawlin, Vincent K. & Millis, M.G. (1989)
Ion Optics for High Power 50 cm
Ion Thrusters, AIAA-89-2717.
- Millis, M. G. (1987) Acceleration Display
System for Aircraft Zero Gravity Research, NASA TM-87358.
- Millis, M. G. (2005) Making the Jump to Light-Speed. Star Wars - Where Science Meets
Imagination, Ed Rodley (ed.) National Geographic: 46-63.
- Millis, M. (2003) Your Tracks: Vintage Point Raceway. Model Car Racing, 2(3) (Issue 9
- Millis, M. G. (1996) Making Galileo Accurate. Famous Spaceships of Fact and
Fantasy, 2nd Ed. Terry Spohn (ed.), Kalmbach Publishing
- Millis, M., (1995) Scrap Building Fictional Models. International Plastic
Modeler’s Society /USA Journal, 7(2) (Jan-Feb):
19-23.Millis, M. 1991. Lone Wolf (photo). FineScale Modeler, 9(7) (Nov): 61.
- Millis, M. (1992) Building a fantasy AeroTank in 1/25
scale. FineScale Modeler, 10(1)