Astrophysics (index)


(Breakthrough Starshot)
(plan for mission to fly by Alpha Centauri)

Starshot (or Breakthrough Starshot) is a program to develop a mission to fly a space probe by Alpha Centauri. It would actually be a fleet of very small (centimeter-sized) craft (StarChips), propelled by ground-based lasers.

The program began in 2016, planning to reach 20% of the speed of light, requiring 20 years to get there. Since communication home would be light-speed, it would take four more years to start receiving data.

In 2017, tiny satellites (given the name Sprites), were deployed to test the concept of centimeter-sized spacecraft.