The adventurous side of human nature drives us to explore—to venture into the unknown to make it known. As we strive to travel further and faster, innovation is our natural companion. Who knows what new technologies will arise out of Breakthrough Starshot, a bold, new initiative to reach the stars?

25 trillion miles may be closer than we think if these bold leaders have their way—Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global; Stephen Hawking, renowned theoretical physicist; and Mark Zuckerberg, founder, and CEO of Facebook.

A nanocraft driven by a powerful laser beam directed at the sail, to reach up to 20% speed of light

Each of these a legend in their own right are combining forces and resources to back proof-of- concept research in interstellar travel. With a board like this, what sounds like science fiction should soon become science fact. Add a management and advisory team comprised of a Who’s Who in theoretical physics, astronomy, science, and engineering, and not even the sky’s the limit.

Breakthrough Starshot is a bold idea to use nanocraft (about the size of a postage stamp) aptly named StarChips to explore space. A StarChip is a tiny sailing vessel that will be driven by a powerful laser beam directed at the sail and is expected to accelerate to 20 percent of light speed. The nanocraft will head for Alpha Centauri, 4.7 light years (25 trillion miles away).

Why Alpha Centauri? Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to our Solar System. To reach Alpha Centauri in one of our regular spaceships would take 30,000 years.

If the laser sail works as expected, this New Project Plans to Send a Spacecraft to Reach Alpha Centauri in 20 Years.

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