Breakthrough Starshot: to Alpha Centauri in 20 years

Discussion in 'Science / Nature' started by Brian G Turner, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Pipe dream, or not? Either way, nice to see someone putting real money begin interstellar space exploration. Even if the project ultimately fails, there remains the possibility of breakthroughs that could be used later:

    Billionaire pledges $100m to send spaceships to Alpha Centauri

     
  2. Mister_Oy

    Mister_Oy Well-Known Member

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    Fascinating stuff! I wonder if the XeeLee are watching! :alien:
     
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  3. millymollymo

    millymollymo Automaton in disguise

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    If you don't try, you'll never know the possibilities.
    ;) Fail or not, it is the start of a far reaching dream.
     
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  4. Stephen Palmer

    Stephen Palmer author of novels

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    I'm not sure what to think of it. It has 'pipedream' elements, plus more grounded ideas.
     
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  5. Foxbat

    Foxbat None The Wiser

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    If they can harness the laser for propulsion (and I'm assuming the wafer sats have very little mass) I'm thinking (hoping) it might be possible.
     
  6. Ray McCarthy

    Ray McCarthy Sentient Marmite: The Truth may make you fret.

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    It's a research project rather than any serious solar sail / laser sail craft as per the Moties in Niven.
     
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  7. mosaix

    mosaix Shropshire, U.K.

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    As millymollymo says, you have to start somewhere. Let's hope for success but for lessons learned if it goes wrong. As far as I'm concerned I think it's great news. :)
     
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  8. BAYLOR

    BAYLOR There Are Always new Things to Learn.

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    20 years bring Alpha Centauri within reach . Now If they could build a ship that go near light speed, that would be really cool. :cool:
     
  9. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    An update suggests that Sirius in 69 years might be the better option:
    Quickest we could visit another star is 69 years – here’s how

    Quote:
    René Heller at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, Germany, says we could reach and orbit Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky, in just 69 years.
    ...
    Previous estimates by Breakthrough Starshot have indicated they could reach Alpha Centauri in just 20 years, travelling at a fifth of the speed of light. But this estimate was calculated for a flyby mission, passing by in just a few seconds.
     
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