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Stephen Hawking, this was his last project to leave Earth

Before leaving, the world showed its support for the project Starshot hack, which includes sending a small probe to Alpha Centauri At just over 20 years old, it travels at less than the speed of light.

“Such a device could reach Mars in less than an hour, or reach Pluto in days, pass Voyager in less than a week and reach up to Alpha Centauri “In just over 20 years,” Hawking told the Daily Mail at the time.

Just for perspective, the spacecraft could take more than 20,000 years to get there today.

Concept Starshot hack It consists of launching a mother ship carrying a payload of thousands of nanospacecraft (only a few centimeters in size and a few grams in weight), which will be launched when in orbit.

Once launched, high-powered lasers from Earth send a beam of light to propel the sails of the nanoships as soon as they are deployed, in this way accelerating their top speed in minutes, achieving an average of up to 100 kilometers per second.

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Ships will go to Alpha Centauri In search of a planet with similar properties to Earth, they will attempt the feat of bringing nanoships close to a distance of one astronomical unit (150 million km) planet for high-quality graphical data and assessment of its conditions.

Albert Einstein once imagined himself riding a beam of light, and his thought experiment led him to the special theory of relativity. Now, a little more than a century later, we have the opportunity to achieve a large part of that speed, and only in this way will we be able to reach the stars in the time scale of human life. He stressed that participating in such an ambitious project is exciting. Hawking in 2017.

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The feat seems complicated, however, and it is ongoing. It remains to be expected whether Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest human minds, is right.