Breakthrough Starshot Photon Engines – Millions of Densely Packed Lasers

The status of the Breakthrough Starshot project (laser pushed sail for an interstellar mission).

They have broken it down into three major challenges. The photon engine, the sail and communications.

They have twelve academic teams working on the photon engine design and components. They have determined several designs that will not work for the photon engine and currently believe that they can make it from hundreds of millions of densely packed 10 centimeter wide mirror-lasers.

It could be built now for the 100 gigawatt system but it would cost trillions. The design work is to drive the cost down to $10 billion or less.

They are looking at many demonstrations on the ground and then with cubesats and then a significant complete system within ten years.

SOURCES- Breakthrough Starshot
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

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