Tag Archives: Starshot

Tiny probes get tested for interstellar mission

Breakthrough Starshot says it’s been testing prototype interstellar spacecraft no bigger than postage stamps in orbit for the past month, and they seem to be working just fine. Six of the 1.4-inch-square circuit boards, dubbed “Sprites,” were launched into low Earth … Continue reading

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Here’s how to stop a speeding starship

Millions of dollars are being spent on a scheme to speed up swarms of tiny sail-equipped probes to 20 percent of the speed of light and send them past Alpha Centauri – but how do you slow them down again? … Continue reading

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VLT joins search for Alpha Centauri’s planets

One of the most powerful observing instruments on Earth, the Very Large Telescope, will join the search for potentially habitable planets around the Alpha Centauri star system. The survey will take place in 2019 under the terms of an agreement … Continue reading

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How to shield a probe for trip to Alpha Centauri

The scientists behind the Breakthrough Starshot mission are already fine-tuning the design for their nano-probes to increase the odds they’ll survive the trip to Proxima Centauri b. In a paper posted to the arXiv pre-print server last week, researchers lay … Continue reading

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$100 million pledged for Alpha Centauri mission

Fueled by an initial $100 million from Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, a team laden with big names laid out a multi-decade plan to send flurries of smartphone-sized probes to the Alpha Centauri system, powered by laser-driven light sails. “For the first … Continue reading

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