Alpha Centauri, Only 4.37 Light Years Away

Alpha Centauri, Only 4.37 Light Years Away

A group of billionaires and scientists is reportedly planning an interstellar mission to Alpha Centauri involving a fleet of iPhone-sized ships that would be accelerated to a fifth of the speed of light by ground-based lasers.  They would travel 600,000 miles in the first two minutes of their journey and reach Alpha Centauri in about 20 years.  (Although – unfortunately – don’t expect a launch date before the mid-2030s.)

Called “Breakthrough Starshot,” the plan is described in today’s New York Times.

As a confessed science fiction nerd, I have to say that this is really, really neat.  I just hope to live long enough to see the first images beamed back from another star system.

 

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