July 5, 2022

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Such a solar sail would fly to the first exoplanet

Such a solar sail would fly to the first exoplanet

Representatives from the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA conducted two studies as part of the initiative Starshot hack. It turns out that the best way to Sending sensors to alien planets There will be solar sails for them.

High-energy beams of light will hit the sails, propelling photovoltaic devices into space. Vehicles have Up to 20 percent of the speed of light. These sails should be very light and at the same time very durable. We already have stuff like mylar. It might be the best example of how exciting they work LightSail Mission 2.

Stephen Hawking and Yuri Milner A while ago, they started a great project called Breakthrough Starshot which we mentioned above. Its purpose is to send hundreds of tiny sensors into the Alpha Centauri system and check for any intelligent life forms out there. Now this dream has become a reality.

Hawking is no longer with us today, but Milner has promised to follow his shared vision. About Alfie and Proxima Centauri The sound got louder a few years ago when astronomers at NASA reported that the planet orbiting the last star had the right conditions for life to arise and develop. More worlds have recently been discovered in the system.

The task is to allow us to learn more about these wonderful things. Of course, this will not be an easy task, despite the fact that the system is only 4 light-years away, that is, approximately. 40 trillion kilometers.

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NASA has just announced that its scientists are working on a new version of the solar sail as part of the project Refractive solar sail. The new technology will be tested in space over the next two years. These sails will be equipped with precision sensors for the Breakthrough Starshot project.

According to the plan, the smallest sensors in history will be built on the base Sprite devices. It was recently successfully tested in orbit. It is very small, since its size is 3.5 x 3.5 cm, weighs up to 4 grams and contains solar panels, computers, sensors (magnetometer, gyroscope) and radio, thanks to which they can communicate.

It is true that the project to build a new solar energy sail and Sending probes to the first exoplanet It seems unreal, but Stephen Hawking in his life, and now Yuri Milner and many enthusiasts of space technology, believe that we will be able to develop an engine that will allow us to explore the nearest stars and their planets. Interestingly, the first tests of the innovative thrust will take place during the probe’s mission to the mysterious cosmic rock called 1I/╩╗Oumuamua.