Forward, Robert L(ull) (1932–2002)

Robert Forward

Robert Forward was a consulting scientist, future technologist, and author of science and science fiction who speculated about unusual forms of extraterrestrial life and proposed several novel interstellar propulsion systems. The author of Dragon's Egg1 (1980) and Starquake!2 (1985), about life on a neutron star (see gravitational life), he explored the idea of using antiproton annihilation3 and laser sails for interstellar travel. Together with Robert P. Hoyt, he also developed the concept of using space tethers for powering orbital and interplanetary missions.


Forward obtained a B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland (1954), an M.S. in applied physics from the University of California, Los Angeles (1955), and a Ph.D. in gravitational physics from the University of Maryland (1965). From 1956 to 1987, he worked at Hughes Aircraft Company Corporate Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, and from 1962 also ran his own consulting company devoted to investigating new energy sources and propulsion concepts.



1. Forward, Robert L. Dragon's Egg. New York: Del Ray (1980).
2. Forward, Robert L. Starquake!. New York: Del Ray (1985).
3. Forward, Robert L., and David, Joel. Mirror Matter: Pioneering Antiphysics. New York: Wiley (1988).