Starshot Project: Stephen Hawking and Mark Zuckerberg launch most ambitious space project ever
Tiny rockets are going to be sent into space to study the far universe in the most ambitious space exploration project in history.
Scientist Stephen Hawking and backers including internet investors Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg aim to send “nanocraft” into space to explore the unknown. This will go beyond the limits of human ability by sending small craft at almost 25% the speed of light. The extremely ambitious space project is expected to reveal deep space secrets and allow us to take photographs of distance worlds for the very first time.
“What makes us unique is transcending our limits.
Gravity pins us to the ground, but I just flew to America.
How do we transcend these limits? With our minds and our machines.
The limit that confronts us now is the great void between us and the stars. But now we can transcend it, with light beams, light sails, and the lightest spacecraft ever built.
Today we commit to this next great leap into the cosmos, because we are human and our nature is to fly.”
Professor Hawking told the audience at the recent event.
The project hopes to slash the time it takes to travel huge distances in space. Currently the Alpha Centauri star system (25 trillion miles away) is 30,000 years away at current space travel speeds, but by using the latest technologies this new project aims to can get there in just 20 years.
What a time to be alive.
They are hoping the craft will be able to send back images of possible planets where life may exist and other important scientific data.
“The human story is one of great leaps,”
Dr Milner said.
“Today we are preparing for the next great leap – to the stars.
Can we literally reach the stars, and can we do it in our lifetime?”
The tiny rockets are made up of computers that can be mounted to a tiny “wafer”. Shrinking computer components mean that all of the necessary parts – cameras, thrusters, power supply and navigation equipment – can all be mounted on a tiny plate that will be a fully functional space probe.
Mark Zuckerberg recently posted on Facebook,