"Each spaceship will cost only as much as a smartphone."

On humanity's first interstellar mission


Wed, Oct 19th, 2016 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Atlantic has this animated guide to humanity's first interstellar mission explaining how Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner plans on reaching planets in another solar system.

Human travel to our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, will not be possible for many years, if ever. However, in the near future, robots might be able to make the trip in an inexpensive and scalable way. Using a solar sail, a nearly weightless spaceship and a powerful beam of light, probes could travel the 4 light years to Alpha Centauri in only 20 years. The most expensive piece of equipment, the beam of light, will stay on the planet, and each spaceship will cost only as much as a smartphone. With this scalable model, our earthly civilization might someday become truly galactic.



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