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25/1/2020  
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R&D
Starshot Project

Renown scientists launch an alien-finding project


Scientists including Stephen Hawking and internet investor Yuri Milner or Mark Zuckerberg will send "nano craft" deep into space to explore the most remote regions that humans have ever seen, by far. The backers hope that the project can send tiny rockets 25 trillion miles into space in just 20 years – and send back pictures, potentially showing worlds that could support life.
Ibercampus 14/4/2016 Send to a friend
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Hawking made the announcement with Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner on April 12, 2016 as part of the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative. The biggest obstacle to achieving this journey so far has been that we don´t have a spacecraft that can go anywhere near fast enough.

The hugely ambitious project could reveal deep secrets of the universe and will allow people to photograph one of the most likely places to hold life on other worlds.

Professor Hawking said at the event: "What makes us unique is transcending our limits. Gravity pins us to the ground, but I just flew to America.

The Starshot Project hopes to get the tiny robots out to the Alpha Centauri star system, 25 trillion miles away. Getting there through normal means would take 30,000 years – but the new project hopes that using the tiny rockets will allow them to get there in just 20.

Scientists think that the Alpha Centauri system might well have an Earth-like planet that could be found in its “habitable zones”. The craft will be able to take pictures of those – a potential way that they might find life on other worlds.

The crafts will be “gram-scale nano craft”, according to Yuri Milner, which will make their way through space using a “sail pushed by a light beam”. Their design will allow them to fly at 25 per cent of light speed.

Those craft will be able to send back images of possible planets and other scientific data, according to the scientists behind it.

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