As if that isn’t mind-bending enough, scientists and artists have recently started exploring the futuristic idea of embossing holograms on the light sails. This is not just to make the sails look trippy; it’s also a potential solution to the technical challenge of stabilizing and steering the sails.
To reach their target speeds, Starshot’s sails are supposed to be blasted for several minutes by 50 to 100 gigawatts of energy provided by a laser beam on the Earth’s surface (for comparison, the average nuclear power plant produces one gigawatt, according to the US Department of Energy). But because the laser would be moving due to the rotation of the Earth, some mechanism is needed to keep the sails within the beam as it drifts; otherwise they will float out of the light, failing to accelerate.
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.