Breakthrough Starshot Aims Aims to Reach Alpha Centauri in 20 Years
Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner want to send a nanocraft sails blown by light to Alpha Centauri. via KurzweilAI
The Alpha Centauri star system is 25 trillion miles (4.37 light years) away. With today’s fastest spacecraft, it would take about 30,000 years to get there. The program aims to establish whether a gram-scale nanocraft on a sail pushed by a light beam can fly more than 1,000 times faster.
Starchip: a gram-scale wafer carrying cameras, photon thrusters, power supply, navigation, and communication equipment, and constituting a fully functional space probe.
Lightsail: Advances in nanotechnology are producing increasingly thin and lightweight materials, promising to enable the fabrication of meter-scale sails no more than a few hundred atoms thick and at gram-scale mass.
Light Beamer. The rising power and falling cost of lasers has led to significant advances in light-beaming technology. Phased arrays of lasers (the “light beamer”) could potentially be scaled up to the 100 gigawatt level.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.