Billionaire pledges $100m to send spaceships to Alpha Centauri
On Tuesday, billionaire Yuri Milner, along with physicist Stephen Hawking, announced the largest ever investment in interstellar travel: a $100 million fund to research and prototype a spacecraft capable of reaching the nearest star in just 20 years.
Forget starships, though. These “wafersats” would be small enough to fit in your hand, weighing just a few grams. Milner and his scientific advisory team believe recent developments in lasers and nanotechnology should make it possible to send thousands of these probes to Alpha Centauri, where they could beam back pictures and scientific data on any planets in orbit.
“We have done some recent research with some of the best minds in different areas, and to my surprise I have concluded it can be done within a generation,” says Milner. But the ambitious project, dubbed Breakthrough Starshot, is likely to raise eyebrows amongst the scientific community.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.newscientist.com