Last year, Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner hatched an ambitious plan to send a tiny probe to the Alpha Centauri star system. Travelling at 20 per cent the speed of light, the researchers weren't entirely sure how the probe was supposed to stop once it arrived at its destination, or whether it would even be able to. Excitingly, a pair of European scientists now say they have solved the problem.
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Yesterday, Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner made the mind-blowing announcement that they want to build a fleet of interstellar spacecraft that can travel at relativistic speeds -- up to 20 per cent the speed of light. But it's not just about reaching our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, although that is the new Breakthrough project's moonshot. The technology Hawking and Milner are proposing could revolutionise the search for alien life within our solar system.
Earlier today, Stephen Hawking and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner announced a thrilling plan to deploy tiny "nanocrafts" to the second-closest star in search of intelligent life. And in the first post-announcement interview with ABC News, Hawking talks about how the development of interstellar spacecraft will improve life for humans.
Last year, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence got a major boost when Russian billionaire Yuri Milner unveiled a $US100 million effort to scan the skies for radio and light signals emitted by aliens. Not content to simply sit tight and wait for ET to hail us, Milner now plans to build interstellar spacecraft. Yes, you heard that correctly.