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Will Starshot’s Insterstellar Journey Succeed? | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios

November 20, 2019

Breakthrough Starshot plans to
send spacecraft to the nearest star within your lifetime. Is this for real? Does this mean it’s
the future, finally? [MUSIC PLAYING] Do you remember when the
future had spaceships? I grew up in the afterglow
of the Apollo program, in the era of the space shuttle. We were so sure
that these were just steps on the inevitable path to
our exploration of the galaxy. We’ve been waiting so
long now that this surety of a space-faring
future has started to slip into the realm
of science fiction. But the wait may be over. Billionaire
physicist Yuri Milner recently announced the
Breakthrough Starshot program. The plan? To send swarms of
light sail driven nanocraft to Alpha
Centauri fast enough that we may have close-up
images of alien worlds within our lifetimes. Today, I want to
take this idea apart to look at the
details of the plan, what it will teach us
about the universe, and whether we can
actually do this thing. But first, a big “told
you so” is in order. We totally called
this in our episode on the possibilities
of interstellar travel. Looks like light sails will
be the first propulsion tick to get an unmanned
probe to the stars. OK. Let’s review the essential
awesomeness of light sails. They do exactly what they say. A spacecraft is propelled
as the light from the sun– or from a giant
laser– accelerates a sail of reflective material. The advantage of light
sails lies in the fact that they don’t have to
carry any propellant. Even for next generation fuels,
like certain types of fusion, the propellant
weight can be most of the craft weight at launch. So the fuel is mostly
accelerating itself. Light sails need no onboard
propellant and the power generation stays back
at home, whether it’s the sun or an Earth-based laser. So why haven’t we done it yet? Oh, we have. The Japan Aerospace
Exploration Agency, JAXA, flew the first interplanetary
light sail in 2010, Ikaros. This solar sail has
buzzed past Venus and now explores the
interplanetary space in an orbit between
Earth and Venus. Solar sails work well
within the solar system and there are a number of
plans for more of these. But what about
interstellar work? Well in that case, light from
the sun just won’t cut it. Alpha Centauri is 4.4 light
years away and so even at a good fraction of
the speed of light, it’s a many year mission. Accelerating on sunlight
alone would make it a many millennium mission. The solution is lasers. The solution is so often lasers. The first serious
proposal along these lines was the Starwisp, proposed
by scientist and author, Robert Forward, and
updated by Geoffrey Landis. This would be a kilometers-wide
carbon fiber mesh sail propelled by a microwave
laser– a maser, which would be focused by
a 1,000 kilometer diameter microwave lens in space. The Starwisp would
accelerate to 10% or so of the speed of light,
getting it to Alpha Cen barely within the
science team’s working life. In a way, Starshot is an
update to the Starwisp. The basic concept is the same–
an extremely low mass laser powered light sail. The main innovation
of the Starshot is that it’s not just low
mass, it is ultra low mass, weighing in at grams rather
than Starwisp’s kilograms. It’s being called a nanocraft. Each Starshot will be comprised
of a sail around a meter in diameter that’s made of
an advanced meta-material– a nano-fabricated sheet only
hundreds of atoms thick. Graphene is likely to be
involved because, let’s face it, graphene can do everything. The payload will be a
single wafer of electronics and would include
multiple detectors, including a camera,
small lasers that work both as thrusters
and as communication devices, and perhaps even
a small nuclear battery. Another big difference
compared to Starwisp is that Starshot will be powered
by a visible light laser, not a maser. This is important because
visible light lasers can maintain a much tighter
beam than a maser can. And when your sail is so
small, that’s really important. The ultra low mass
means that the nanocraft can be accelerated to a
decent clip with a giant laser that we could plausibly
build in a generation. So less vast alien
mega structure slash planet destroyer and
more Bond super-villain laser. It would be a
ground-based phased array of mini lasers called a light
beamer that will produce a combined 100 gigawatt beam. This thing could burn
Yuri Milner’s tag on the surface of
the moon and also accelerate a Starshot craft
to 20% of the speed of light in a few minutes. That’ll get it to Alpha Cen
in a little over 20 years but it would get it
to Mars in two hours. Build a laser that big and
you want to use it, right? The plan is to launch not one,
but thousands of these craft. This is critical
because there’s actually no way for these things to
slow down at the other end. Each craft will have a few
minutes to collect data as it zips through
the Alpha Cen system, so you really want a long stream
of them to collect enough data. What can a Starshot probe expect
to do in those few minutes? Well take pics, for one. It’s expected that
the craft will launch with camera tech
capable of resolving continents and oceans on planets
orbiting Alpha Cen, assuming they have them. It will take a 300 kilometer
diameter telescope at Earth to get the same resolution. Some type of color
spectral sensitivity may even point to life
signatures on these planets. There’s a lot of
work to be done. Miniaturization of
payload components isn’t quite there yet. The light sail will need to be
insanely thin and almost immune to heating. Everything will have to
withstand tens of thousands of G’s of acceleration
and impact from interstellar
dust or cosmic rays. The laser propulsion array
needs to combine and direct its beams with
incredible precision through a turbulent atmosphere. And at the other
end, Starshot probes need to know where to point
the cameras and then beam that info back to
Earth with whatever energy can be stored on board. There are no deal breakers here,
but some of this technology is a way off. The program relies very
heavily on the projections of Moore’s law. It’s assumed that processor
size, camera pixel density, laser power to mass
ratio, et cetera will continue their
exponential improvement. The hope is to launch
in around 20 years. With a 20 plus year travel
time and 4.4 years for the pics to be beamed back
to Earth, that gets us the data in 45 to 50 years. Eat healthy. Exercise. And you could well
live to see this. Why should we take this
particular idea seriously? Well to start, it has money. Milner has shelled out $100
million to get started. To see completion, it
will take several billion, but money has a way
of attracting money. If people take this seriously,
then others will get on board. And indeed they have. Stephen Hawking and Mark
Zuckerberg form the board. The advisory team includes
legendary engineer Freeman Dyson, the UK Astronomer Royal,
Martin Rees, dark energy Nobel Laureate, Saul Perlmutter, and
several other very prominent leaders in their scientific
and technical fields. Their email to me got caught
in my spam filter, I assume. What do you guys think? Is this worth doing? Is the scientific
payoff worth the money or is the awesome factor
alone worth the investment? Is the benevolent
billionaire model going to replace
national funding for large scale
scientific programs and is that even desirable? And what will the Starshot probe
find when it reaches Alpha Cen? Perhaps a welcome to the
galactic community sign? We’ll be sure to get back to you
with the first up close alien snapshots in around 50 years
right here on “Space Time.” In the last episode, we talked
about how dark energy causes this exponentially accelerating
expansion of the universe and you guys had a lot
to say in the comments. Satya Prakash asks
a great question. Which is the first cause? Does dark energy
cause expansion? Does expansion
cause dark energy? All right. This is a good one. Dark energy does drive
the expansion rate, causing a sort of
anti-gravity effect. But if dark energy diluted
away, like regular matter does, that effect would diminish
as the universe expanded. However, dark energy
doesn’t dilute. Its density stays constant. That means the larger
the universe is, the more dark energy
there is and so the more of this anti-gravity. So expansion results
in more dark energy and more dark energy
results in faster expansion. It’s a positive
feedback cycle that leads to exponential expansion. Scot Mcphee would like
to know how it all ends. Does the universe expand
to such a ridiculous size that it’s filled ultimately
with only stellar remnants and darkness? Or does space itself
rip itself apart? So that depends on what
dark energy actually is. If it’s really fully described
by a constant cosmological constant and so has an
unchanging density with time, then no, space time
doesn’t get ripped apart. The universe expands
exponentially forever and eventually
the stars die out, the black holes evaporate,
and the universe undergoes heat death. But if the density of dark
matter varies with time, then there are a range
of possibilities. The one where space
time rips itself apart at a fundamental level,
the so-called Big Rip, happens when the density
of dark energy increases. So we’ll talk about
that in another episode. Sandeep Siwach would like
to know why dark energy only affects the space
between galaxies and not within galaxies. So dark energy only has
an observable effect when its density is at least
comparable to the density of regular matter. The density of matter
inside galaxies is much, much higher than in
between galaxies and even much, much higher than the
average for the universe. There’s just not enough
dark energy in these regions to do very much. Accessless points
out that we must need some sort of
luminosity reference point before we can start
using white dwarf supernovae or Type
1a supernovae, the standard candles. And that’s absolutely right. We need to figure
out the luminosities for a good number of these
supernovae independently, before we can start using
them as standard candles. We do that by finding
independent distances to white dwarf supernovae
in nearby galaxies. There are different
ways to do this. For example, we can use cepheid
variable stars, another type of standard candle, to get
an independent distance to the galaxy in which
a supernova exploded. Cepheid variables
are then calibrated as standard candles based on
cepheids in our own galaxy. There’s a whole
sequence of steps we use to calibrate astronomical
distance measurements. It’s called the cosmic
distance ladder. AdrianAbdel reminds
us that the universe is dark and full of terrors. Yes, my friend. And the heat death of
the universe is coming. Eh, valar morghulis. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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  • Reply B. Lloyd Reese June 21, 2018 at 4:27 am

    I'm the best at space

  • Reply Diana Gibbs June 21, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    20% C in a few MINUTES?!?! Holy ****.

  • Reply Diana Gibbs June 21, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I caught the Great Atuin in the last few seconds of the ep. <3

  • Reply D3w10n June 24, 2018 at 4:49 am

    That premonition does not count cos your chin was naked!!!

  • Reply baronvg June 29, 2018 at 3:00 am

    The way I see it, humanity will have interstellar travel and colonization eventually. It’s gotta start sometime so why not now. If I had the recourses, I’d be all in and selfishly take credit and cement my legacy for future generations like the European explorers did lol

  • Reply ewaf88 July 2, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    What would happen if one of these little probes accidently ran into an inhabited planet – say around the Trappist system on a future mission. At 20% of the speed of light it might cause some real damage. Not a friendly hello and could be seen as a hostile act.

  • Reply StefannoTheConqueror July 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    N1 for beating the Simpsons to it

  • Reply Andrew Church July 13, 2018 at 10:23 am

    Awesome factor is off the charts!!

  • Reply The Last Roman July 13, 2018 at 11:38 am

    It’s probably going to be canceled for some contrived reason.

  • Reply TLR Eclipse July 21, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    @ 9:20 So Dark Energy is Bureaucratic!

  • Reply TheCoatneyadkins July 23, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I really really don't like this guy

  • Reply Daniel Stevik July 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    When you say travel time is 20years , i assume it's 20 years observed from earth?

  • Reply Sonofspam64 July 30, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Ha ha, Starshot is doomed. There's a dome that surrounds our solar system qith a bunch of small holes punched in it so heavens light can shine through. It'll hit the dome and shatter into a zillion pieces. I know because I read the bestest book on science, the bibble!

  • Reply Danny Roll August 15, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Sounds like a big spy program to me.

  • Reply Maldo Han August 17, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    This is not going to happen.
    But I hope it does

  • Reply Maldo Han August 17, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Laser is the answer.

  • Reply tiDDies aTTic August 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    IDK why this guys voice is chalkboard nails😖 to me?? I also don't know why I'm a weirdo that likes to fall asleep listening to space vids but I am🤷🏼‍♂️ great channel though

  • Reply No U September 3, 2018 at 4:05 am

    Fire ze lazers!

  • Reply MadLad September 3, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Humanity begun using wind sails before powered engines to travel the vast seas, now humanity is using light sails to travel the cosmos. We can only hope and pray that it continues down this path of progress.

  • Reply MarxistKnight September 19, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    If we can spare billions every couple of years on building new aircraft carriers, warships, wars, or Mexican walls, surely we can throw a couple of billion at making fusion power a reality and powering a probe to another star? I don't know, a new asphalt highway or expanding human scope and imagination to new frontiers?

  • Reply Murray Lewis September 20, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Better to put the laser array in Solar orbit – then it could point any direction at any time, potentially increasing probe speed with less power and increasing its usefulness, since it could point in any direction.

  • Reply Trevor Goodchild September 29, 2018 at 7:23 am

    If I were a billionaire- I would invest in Star shot-

  • Reply Kartikey Singh October 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Won't the mass get increased? If you are travelling at velocity comparable to light?

  • Reply MINXC3 October 11, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    I'll take the 300km telescope. Then if Alpha Cen. turns out to be boring we can just point the scope somewhere else.

  • Reply Exist64 October 17, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Loved the humor in this episode ❤️

  • Reply anirudha darokar October 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm


  • Reply BlackPage November 4, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Listen…right now it's just a concept…..we still need to put a base on the moon.

  • Reply Benjamin Sanders November 9, 2018 at 12:07 am

    "Welcome to the Galactic Community" Lol. No, actually, "the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now." ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. So apparently, Earth will be gone by the time the messages gets back…

  • Reply Luke Kent November 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Dat turtle.

  • Reply Scott Maday November 19, 2018 at 12:10 am

    >Humans: sends reflective nano craft to Alpha Centauri.
    >Alpha Centaurians: starts chucking space rocks back towards earth
    space war starts where projectiles take 50 years to reach their target

  • Reply Abishek AB November 20, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Just here to say its 2018 Nov now and still we haven't sent people to mars

  • Reply Al L December 2, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Are we there yet, are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When will we get there already!! Are we there yet?

  • Reply andrew oman December 6, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Rather than accelerating the starshot craft to 20% light speed so quickly, why not get it up to that speed with multiple, separate laser boosts over a longer time (say months instead of hours)? This would avoid the problem of the extreme stresses that the craft would be exposed to by trying to get it up to speed in the hours range; on-balance, a few extra months isn't a big deal, but it could be of benefit to making the program viable sooner.

    My second question is: could the crafts launched have a trajectory toward proxima cen. that would allow for that stars light to act on the sails, slowing the approach of the craft as it enters the system, thereby giving the craft more time to collect data, rather than just super fast fly-bys?

  • Reply DRUNKEN RAMBLE December 12, 2018 at 3:38 am

    This technology is really gonna change inter Solar system exploration Big time!!! I'm more excited about that than going to nearby Stars. 2 days to Mars – That's a game Changer!!!

  • Reply Wolf Heart December 16, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Wow, our first baby steps into the great darkness of space… interstellar. 🙂 So who will see our great laser? Once we turn it on can it be seen instantly across the galaxy? Alpha centurie will see the light from our lasers after 4.5 years. Perhaps we should study the stars for such laser signature for this would likely be the first way any civilization would go interstellar….

  • Reply Easwar S December 27, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Are we really alone?, can't say when we haven't even know what's in our nearest star…

  • Reply Josh Vonhauger January 1, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    We can turn the sun into a laser !

  • Reply tortellini January 18, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I'm 24 now. I really hope I get to see this happen and am alive for the results!

  • Reply lostinthemoonlight January 28, 2019 at 6:30 am

    You mean Icarus.

  • Reply Edward A February 1, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    When the earth rotates in the opposite direction the lasers won't be pointing to the sails. Do they have to be pointing to the sail constantly or are only needed for acceleration (a few minutes)?

  • Reply Shawn Elliott February 16, 2019 at 7:33 am

    There's another reason to launch thousands of Starshot probes: So they can act as radio relays. Sending a low-power radio signal over a span of light-years is just not going to happen without relays that can perform error-correction and rebroadcast the signal.

  • Reply Jeremy Wright February 26, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    Damn it! My spam filter blocked that email from Zuckels and all those Nobel Laurates as well.

  • Reply INFINITY March 2, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    The probes will return with a note saying pls keep your junk in your solar system

  • Reply INFINITY March 2, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    Yeeeeeaaaah i think ill go with the 300 km telescope

  • Reply Rob Warren March 3, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Starshot upgrade! : )

  • Reply Chris Pacman March 10, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Nooo I'm born way too early.

  • Reply jesse dampare March 16, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Solar sails are the dumbest most uncreative thing science has ever come up with. How many kilometer what? Where the hell are we going with those 😑 whoever thought of that should be fired

  • Reply Michael Clement March 21, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I'm struggling to understand momentum in relation to light sails. The photon travels at the speed of light, hits the sail giving it a nudge and is reflected, to continue at the speed of light. The light sail has gained momentum however the photon has not lost momentum. How did the light sail gain the momentum?

  • Reply Frank Turchh March 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Why don't they use moss to make these sails ? -Frank Turchio

  • Reply TJ Simmons March 21, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    I'm so sorry Matt, but…

    They didn't e-mail you
    it wasn't your spam folder

  • Reply Kraitok [Prodigal Theives] March 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    A few billion is a small investment for the amount of data we would presumably receive. Besides, getting actual pictures of another solar system would ignite the collective human imagination in a way not seen since the space race.

  • Reply ChrisBrengel April 15, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    The Solution is so often lasers
    Graphene can do everything
    It's never aliens…until it is
    — Rules to live by from PBS Space Time!

  • Reply Ethan Krauss April 18, 2019 at 1:37 am

    If you click on the purple channel icon to the left, you can see an ion thruster lifting its power supply from the ground. Consequently, it can accelerate at well over 9.8/m^2, nearly 6 orders of magnitude faster than the Dawn spacecraft! It could also run on commercially available solar cells and carry a small propellant tank as well. Right now it is just a rough working prototype, but it has potential….

  • Reply hrthrhs May 10, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Any aliens living there are going to love us obnoxiously shooting 1000s of super high velocity projectiles at them

  • Reply Is This Shabab May 17, 2019 at 11:44 am

    What if we install these laser boosters with nuclear reactors across the solar system and increase the speed of the solar sails by another 20% every time it comes to close proximity to the laser boosters spread across the solar system, With correct calculations we may be able to achieve 100% or more than the speed of light.

  • Reply András Ujlaki May 17, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    1000km lense in space wow good idea

  • Reply Random Guy May 25, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Ripidy Dipidy in le Spaghetti Prof. Stephen Hawking

  • Reply Threelly AI May 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Good shit…

  • Reply Mic_Glow June 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Luckily there is no space-age civilization at Alpha Cen… They could consider thousands of tiny objects moving at 20% light speed and vaporizing their spacecraft/ bases as an attack.

  • Reply Ryan June 11, 2019 at 12:08 am

    And the 3009 intergalactic war begins when the Alpha Centuri war fleet arrives narked that some planet has sent loads of kites over. Followed by 3020s OPERATION no you can't have your ball back

  • Reply Unxpectd- June 11, 2019 at 2:04 am

    They could like the blackhole fotograph earthlike planets

  • Reply MrNilsenone June 18, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Couldn't we put a focusing lense at a little distance from the sun and then propel light from there out into deep space?

    I mean all the light and lasers we sent from earth come essentially from the sun, so might just do it outside earth

  • Reply Edward Trinidad June 20, 2019 at 6:18 am

    Flat earth?

  • Reply Jari Haukilahti June 27, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    maybe a alien on Alpha Centari would belive a automated nanobot sail would be a attack and maybe should be considered just that since its about what we do -pollution -we would pollute the local universe with bots maybe selfreplicationg -just because some man can -I guess this would be a subjectt to a aggression . So My question is.. Why the fk the hurrry ???? or are man stupid in the corebeing.

  • Reply Cornip Lastip June 29, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Moore's law is over. Electronics are not getting smaller and so this mission plan is a fantasy.

  • Reply Mel Gross July 10, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    With such a low power signal coming back to us, the signal will be verrry slow. Maybe a few bits a second, if we’re lucky.

  • Reply D Jackman July 14, 2019 at 10:20 am

    What will the aliens think?

  • Reply mister roberts July 16, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    very cool, but not in my lifetime

  • Reply The Last Orca July 17, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Aliens from Alfa Cen: Yo, stop throwing tissue papers at us.

  • Reply Chirag Suvarna July 19, 2019 at 3:33 am

    Why light sails are not used to carry probes to Kepler belt?

  • Reply Nick King July 25, 2019 at 5:17 am

    How many dildos does this guy have?

  • Reply Nick King July 25, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Its so sad his elbows don't allow his arms to extend past 90 degrees. Poor guy

  • Reply Nick King July 25, 2019 at 5:27 am

    I wonder if he got this shirt from that hanes commercial about bacon neck
    Anyone else think hes faking his accent? This guys a phony (jk)

  • Reply Michael Collins July 29, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Well i guess it's time to stop smoking

  • Reply Frédéric J August 3, 2019 at 8:29 am

    Great A'Tuin, yay!

  • Reply Dinh Nguyen August 5, 2019 at 3:17 am

    It's the stuff we're not looking for at the time that will be the big payoff. At some point, all these probes we're zipping around might catch something that helps solve the dark matter or negative mass questions. There plenty of examples of useless tidbits of knowledge that end up significant later on.

  • Reply Elto Desukane August 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    12:04 what is "valamakulos" ?
    It's "Valar Morghulis", meaning "All men must die".

  • Reply Nug U August 8, 2019 at 5:00 am

    No it's not desirable for billionaires to pay for science lol. The US military budget could make us interstellar in 20 years. More likely 200 years at the current pace

  • Reply Nug U August 8, 2019 at 5:03 am

    The heat death of the universe is coming….

  • Reply Gabriel Johnson August 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    I hope to live to see the first pictures!!
    Exercise program GO!!

  • Reply matthew benard August 13, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    you might think that steler pebbles and other random debris would shread that sail??

  • Reply Bela Kiss August 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    20% of speed of light for an 1g object means that each of them will, on impact, release as much energy as 428 tons of TNT would when exploded. I doubt that this is the best way to say hello to your neighbor 🙂

  • Reply Brian Cherry August 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    "money has a way of attracting money". My bank account proves otherwise.

  • Reply Dennis Allard August 19, 2019 at 7:18 am

    Due to low power of transmitters the best way to transmit data back to earth will be to relay back to following probes. Probes would be continuously launched for 20 years. This way information would only need to be transmitted backwards a distance of a few light hours or days and then be relayed again etc. This would greatly reduce the power required on each probe to transmit data back to earth.

  • Reply Timm Brockmann August 21, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I´m just wondering why the intense laser beam wouldn´t destroy the ultra thin light sail?

  • Reply Kent Masa September 14, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    And when you get there, it is full of magma and fire then goodbye to your billions, lol donate it to the poor instead

  • Reply Gus Perez September 17, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Sorry it will not work for long distance, considering stress and damage from micro particles. Maybe would work for short distance, which can retract with a smaller profile. Why do some of you ignore the laws of physics even in space?

  • Reply Dirk Schmitz September 21, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    that dude is so annoying. Calm your face man! Looks so weird and artificial.

  • Reply Jimmy Mueller September 21, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    where can i invest?

  • Reply James McHarry September 24, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    It still seems like quantum communication should be possible.

  • Reply Gene Miller September 26, 2019 at 12:00 am

    The awesome factor on this is just amazing!

  • Reply Hideki September 29, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Imagine being an alien and suddenly there's thousands upon thousands of tiny spacecrafts flying at your planet and taking pictures.

    They won't be happy I assume

  • Reply Ian Rosmarin September 29, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    the technology in 50 years could mean we could send them off there over 20 years

  • Reply John Snow October 2, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    So the real benefit of these things is that they can detect activity closely correlated to life on planets far far away?

  • Reply 00oww October 15, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    His self-ridiculing arrogance is kinda sexy

  • Reply Ray Davis October 17, 2019 at 3:16 am

    You forget about slowing down at the end of journey.

  • Reply Kevin Lewis October 20, 2019 at 3:43 am

    How would solar sails deal with leaving the solar system through the Kuiper belt?

  • Reply LeoMDK November 9, 2019 at 8:29 pm



    i hope they give them tails

  • Reply Zé Scotto di Vettimo November 10, 2019 at 1:35 am

    i think universe doesn't expend forever, i think its more like a liquid expand and retracts like viscosity magma lamp.

  • Reply Aleksandr Lenk November 11, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    101 on how to start intergalactic warfare: 1. Start bombarding them with powerful laser mail.

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