Nasa and Stephen Hawking work on starship that can reach Alpha Centauri in 20 years

Nasa researchers have joined forces with Stephen Hawking to build a nano-starship that can travel one-fifth the speed of light.

If successful, the ship, called “StarChip” could reach Earth’s closest star system, Alpha Centauri, in 20 years.

Stephen Hawking announced the Breakthrough Starshot project in April, for which he is joined by a team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. But whether the craft could survive a two decade-long trip remained in question.

That’s where Nasa can help. According to their researchers, high-energy radiation in space could cause the ship to cease functionality well before the 20-year trip was over, according to Science Alert.

Nasa proposed a number of options to pursue in the development stages of the project. They presented their findings at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco this week. 

More at The Independent.

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