A prominent astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner designated project called “Breakthrough Starshot”. Aim of which is to study the star Alpha Centauri using remote probes. Most importantly, test data will arrive on the Earth after our life time. Travel to the second nearest to earth star: Alpha Centauri would handle the fastest ever designed spacecraft in more than 30 thousand years. No wonder that all the research and observation will use telescopes. Within the framework of the project Breakthrough in Starshot invested 100 million dollars, intend to send in the direction of the stars of the probe and receive data even in our lifetimes.
The chance to project success are low, because a prominent astrophysicist and billionaire fascinated by new technologies do not throw words to the wind and forcing acceleration of probes on imaginative precision of laser aiming.
Unfortunately this two individuals still don’t know how to solve technical details in this project.
Previous plans for so far the flight involved the use of thousands of “mini ships” equipped with solar sails. Powerful laser with a capacity of 100 gigawatt will bringing them to the speed of which 20% the speed of light. The flight goes for 20 years and the collected data reach the Earth after 4 years from transmission.
The whole concept is of course full of question marks and assumptions
You must first construct a tiny probe and disperse them with a laser to that speed, which already seems to be extremely difficult.
The bottleneck of the whole project would is full of threats. It is not known whether any vessel will be able to rotate fly to Alpha Centauri. Instead of helping to develop advance space engine Steven Hawkins is going for obvious solutions building “solar sails”. This kind of decisions are not helping to his not growing career.