Before he died Theoretical Physicist Stephen Hawking wanted mankind to reach the stars. He gathered a group of top scientists to create what is now called Breakthrough Starshot. Yuri Milner is funding it. What they intended to do was to create a small light-propelled robotic spaceship prototype that could reach Alpha Centari. The journey was slated to take approximately twenty years. (

Alpha Centari

Hawking said “With light beams, light sails, and the lightest spacecraft ever built, we can launch a mission to Alpha Centari within a generation. – Today we commit to this next great leap into the cosmos. Because we are human and our human nature is to fly.” (

Sailing on Light

Starshot would be built out of extremely thin disks and then affixed to an indescribably thin sail. This is the portion that would actually be launched into space from the mothership. It’s propulsion would consist of laser beams sent out from a high altitude facility somewhere on earth. (

According to Milner this craft would accelerate to 20% of the speed of light which would be fast enough to reach Alpha Centari in as little as twenty years. Alpha Centari is 4.37 light years away from the earth. Using our current technology it would take over thirty thousand years for a spacecraft to reach Alpha Centari. So you can see how Starshot be ground-breaking if it worked. (

Milner refers to Starshot as a nanocraft or their interstellar sailboat. Starshot would also be capable of taking photos of other planets and capturing data that could be beamed back to earth and analyzed. (

The cost would be considerable, but the information we could gain would be more than worth it. Over time, like in the Artemis Program, the costs would lessen with each mission. The purpose is to search for extraterrestrial life by scanning the one-hundred closest galaxies to earth.  (

The men backing Breakthrough Starshot are; now deceased Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg. This is the first time all of them have come together for such a venture and adventure. It is slated to be a ten-year plan with an initial budget of $100 million dollars. (

On another note, Milner is hosting a contest for the best message to send out to any potential intelligent life that might be listening to us. He will award nearly $1 Million dollars to those who craft such messages. Don’t miss your chance! (


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