NTERNET INVESTOR AND SCIENCE PHILANTHROPIST YURI MILNER & PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING ANNOUNCE BREAKTHROUGH STARSHOT PROJECT TO DEVELOP 100 MILLION MILE PER HOUR MISSION TO THE STARS WITHIN A GENERATION
$100 million research and engineering program will seek proof of concept for using light beam to propel gram-scale ‘nanocraft’ to 20 percent of light speed. A possible fly-by mission could reach Alpha Centauri within about 20 years of its launch.
Mark Zuckerberg is joining the board.
New York – Tuesday, April 12 – Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner was joined at One World Observatory today by renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking to announce a new Breakthrough Initiative focusing on space exploration and the search for life in the Universe.
Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for light-propelled nanocrafts. These could fly at 20 percent of light speed and capture images of possible planets and other scientific data in our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, just over 20 years after their launch.
The program will be led by Pete Worden, the former director of NASA AMES Research Center, and advised by a committee of world-class scientists and engineers. The board will consist of Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Ann Druyan, Freeman Dyson, Mae Jemison, Avi Loeb and Pete Worden also participated in the announcement.
Today, on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, and nearly half a century after the original ‘moonshot’, Breakthrough Starshot is launching preparations for the next great leap: to the stars.