Will Starshot’s Insterstellar Journey Succeed?
Will Breakthrough Starshot make it to Alpha Centauri? Let’s find out.
Read more: Spaceships & Rockets
– Solar Sail
– Warp Drive
– Deep-Space Engines (Ion Propulsion Engines)
Pete Worden, the former head of NASA AMES and lead on Breakthrough Initiatives, discusses Breakthrough Starshot, a $100 million engineering program to bring light-propelled nanobots to Alpha Centauri. The Alpha Centauri star system is 25 trillion miles away. With todayâs fastest spacecraft, it would take about 30,000 years to get there. The probes, or Starchips, are tiny bots on sails pushed by laser beams, flying over a thousand times faster than conventional rockets, and get there within 20 years.
Covered in this episode: How do Starchips work? What powers the transmitter? Can they blast me with lasers to the next star? Is it possible to go to the 550 AU distance needed to use solar gravitational lensing?