Space Travel is very possible, in fact, in our lifetime, we may see plenty more people go to the Moon and maybe even a human go to Mars. However, one of the biggest problems with going to Space is that it costs an absolutely insane amount of money for even the most basic of tasks. This is often why so few people go to Space and why they’re then trained so specifically to live up there.
However, Stephen Hawking, one of the most famous Scientists of our generation and likely in history has gone and backed a $100m research programme to develop the computer-sized “starships” that will be sent to Alpha Centauri.
The plan is for the tiny spacecraft to reach Alpha Centauri in around 20 years time. And the reason we are sending the spacecraft to Alpha Centauri is because it is the only planet in the system that Scientists have found that works almost identically to ours. Therefore, it is the most likely place that we are going to find life in space.
The research programme was initially funded by Russian Internet Billionaire Yuri Milner and also has financial backing from Facebook owner and founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
The spacecraft itself sounds absolutely fascinating. The microscopic spacecraft will travel at around a fifth of the speed of light, which is how it would reach the planet so quickly. All current Spacecraft would take around 30,000 years to reach the planet which is 25 trillion miles away or 4.37 light years away.
“The thing would look like the chip from your cell phone with this very thin gauzy light sail,” said Pete Worden, the former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, who is leading the project.
To us, this sounds very exciting for both science and the future of Alien life. Everybody surely has their fingers crossed that there is in fact life on Alpha Centauri and it will be found as we continue man’s journey into the darker corners of space!