High Altitude Balloon Carries Precursor to Interstellar Laser Propelled Starchip

Researchers with the UCSB Experimental Cosmology Group (ECG) reached a major milestone by successfully testing a prototype version of system carried by a high altitude balloon. They plan to continue improvements and eventually have a laser-propelled interstellar StarChip spacecraft.

They want the Starchips to weigh about one gram and have the cameras, radios and other systems.

Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for a new technology, enabling ultra-light unmanned space flight at 20% of the speed of light; and to lay the foundations for a flyby mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.

SOURCES -UCSB, Universe Today

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