Dec 10, 2016

NASA’s Working on a Nano-Starship That Travels at 1/5 the Speed of Light

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, space travel

In April, a team of scientists including Stephen Hawking announced a mind-boggling new project to explore interstellar space, using lasers to propel a nano-spacecraft the size of a postage stamp to our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri.

If they could get their little ‘StarChip’ spacecraft to travel at 20 percent the speed of light, it could arrive in just 20 years. But how would the electronics on such a tiny, vulnerable spacecraft survive for 20 years in the hostility of space?

The problem for Hawking’s Breakthrough Starshot project, say researchers at NASA and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, is radiation.

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