Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner launch $100m star voyage Alpha Centauri

   Alpha Centauri is a star system around 25 trillion miles from Earth.
   The project, dubbed Breakthrough Starshot, will rely on tiny 'nanocraft'.
   Tiny nanocraft will fly on sails pushed by beams of light.
   Craft will carry cameras and a built in GPS.
   Mission could reach Alpha Centauri within about 20 years of its launch.

 ALPHACENTAURI – Stephen Hawking Plans To Hunt For The Aliens In Our Local Star System
   It has been announced in the last week that an astonishing space mission to visit Earths nearest star system and hopefully to discover alien life has been launched by Professor Stephen Hawking, alongside Russian Yuri Milner.
   Despite being visible in the night sky without a telescope, Alpha Centauri is 25 trillion miles away (4.3 light years) and would take around 30,000 years to reach with current technology.  However, world famous Professor Hawking has joined forces with the Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and also Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, in order to develop technology, which one day would allow a spacecraft to reach the star system in just 20 years time from now.
   Although it does appear to be a tad dubious why the world’s number one ‘spy’ Mark Zuckerberg is involved with this project!?
                                                   Foto Uri Milner and Stephen Hawking

   Once there, a clever probe would sweep past the planets in the vast region hunting for signs of advanced alien civilisations.  Earth-like planets have already been detected around the three stars of Alpha Centauri and scientists are very hopeful that some may be located in the ‘Goldilocks Zone’ which is an area where it is neither too hot, nor cold, for life to thrive.  The dream of reaching for the Stars could about to become true!  Launching the initial $100 million phase of the ‘Starshot’ mission at the One World Observatory in New York City, Prof Hawking said:

    “There are no greater heights to aspire to than the stars.
    “What makes human beings unique? There are many theories. Some say it is language or tools, others say it is logical reasoning. They obviously haven’t met many humans.
    “I believe what makes us unique is transcending our limits. Gravity pins us to the ground, but I just flew to America. I lost my voice but I can still speak. How do we transcend these limits? With our minds and our machines.
    “The limit that confronts us now is the great void between us and the stars but now we can transcend it, with light beams and light sails and the lightest spacecraft ever built we can launch a mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.” 

   This intriguing mission relies on building the lightest spacecraft ever flown by mankind.  A tiny ‘nanocraft’ weighing less than a gram, which would be fitted with a small sail.  It has been suggested that these small probes could be a similar size to a post-it note!
Back on Earth a huge array of laser beams will be fired up into space, coming together to form a 100 gigawatt beam of light which will blast the tiny craft off into the solar system, accelerating to speeds of 100 million miles per hour.

   Although Voyager One has ventured outside the Solar System, and is currently in interstellar space, no spaceship has ever reached another star system.
   Speaking at the exciting press conference Milner said:

    “The question is, can we reach the stars? Can we literally reach the stars? And can we do it in our lifetime. “The Moon still marks the furthest human beings have come. Since then we have delegated the task to robots. Voyager One has now reached interstellar space. Is that as far as we can go and what will be our next great leap?    “If Voyager had left our planet when humans left Africa it would be arriving at Alpha Centauri about now. So how do we go faster?    “There is a technology just over the horizon which can get us to the speed we need. Actually we already use come of the basic principles. Leave the fuel behind. It was not possible before, but it is possible in the near future.    “If this comes to fruition it will tell us as much about ourselves as about Alpha Centauri. For the first time in human history we can do more than just gaze at the stars. We can actually reach them.”
   The immensely powerful laser which will be beamed from Earth, will be so bright that it will literally be visible throughout the Universe. And it is here that the team are hoping it might be seen by advanced alien civilisations in space – but is it wise to draw attention to ourselves?
    “Starshot will answer the question are we alone?” said Pete Worden Executive Director, Breakthrough Starshot,  former Director of NASA Ames Research Centre
    “We can search for intelligent life across the universe. This is really cool. Through these hard challenges, onto the stars.”
It was back in 2012, a planet which is of a similar size to Planet Earth, was spotted orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B. Although this star was far too hot for any kind of life to exist on it (around 2,200 degrees on the surface – although it is VERY likely that there are other earth-like planets nearby, that may be cool enough for water and life to exist on it
   Last year Prof Hawking and Milner launched a joint $100 million initiative to hunt for evidence of extra-terrestrial civilisations – please click our post here to read more on this project announcement:
   Milner is also funding a prize called Breakthrough Message to come up with the best way to communicate with aliens. Please check out the incredible video for the Breakthrough Listen launch last year – awe inspiring stuff:
   Milner, who was named after Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, said he was committed to bringing the ‘Silicon Valley’ approach to hunting for intelligent life in the Universe!
   This EXCITING new announcement was made on the 55th anniversary of Gagarin’s first spaceflight.  I think Yuri and Stephen Hawking may VERY soon be receiving an interview request from us guys at U.I.P!

   Apart from the fact that this incredibly exciting project involves Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, who us guys at U.I.P do NOT trust, this has to be one of the most incredible alien hunting projects yet!      BUT, will it work?
   Stephen Hawking is clearly a genius who many people across the world admire a lot for his wonderful achievements and discoveries in life, against all odds what with suffering from motor neurone disease since a young age, but one thing is for sure he has an incredible interest in life beyond planet earth! Please read some of our other posts reference Hawking’s interest in Aliens – he has eve originally ‘warned’ us all about coming across more advanced beings in space:
Who knows, perhaps Stephen Hawking knows far more than he makes out and he is now an integral part of the drip feeding of disclosure?!  Either way, this project is incredible exciting and here’s hoping that this actually ‘takes off!
   Us guys at U.I.P are going to try to speak to Yuri Milner and possibly even Stephen Hawking himself!

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