Stephen Hawking Plans To Send Probes To Alpha Centauri

Astrophysicist and all-around space enthusiast Stephen Hawking plans to send to tiny probes into the neighboring star of Alpha Centauri. How close is it? About 4.37 light-years away.

Given that most current spacecraft, including the latest New Horizons, can only fly at 33,000 miles per hour, it would take at least 20,000 years before the probe could ever reach. Which is why Hawking is proposing a new method to send the probe.

The radical new method is called Breakthrough Starshot which will increase the speed in which the probe will travel up to 100 million miles per hour. This effectively will reduce the time to reach Alpha Centauri from 20,000 years to about 20 years.

Unfortunately, building the technology is costly which is why Russian billionaire Yuri Milner will be footing the bill with an estimate 100 million dollars. Mark Zuckerberg will also be part of the board which means that Hawking has the support of some big names for his project.

Breakthrough Shot Probe

As to when the technology will be made, Milner and Hawking admit that it will take some time before the first probe goes into space. However, Milner remains optimistic with a statement he gave during their press conference.

“The human story is one of great leaps.” Milner states. “Fifty-five years ago today, (Russian cosmonaut) Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Today, we are preparing for the next great leap — to the stars.”

Source: Breakthrough (YouTube)

 

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