How Will We Get to Alpha Centauri?

How Will We Get to Alpha Centauri?

About 4.3 light-years from Earth lies our
closest stellar neighborhood. The Alpha Centauri system consists of three
known stars. Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B are
a binary pair, which means they orbit a common center of mass. The third star, Proxima Centauri, is the closest
to Earth at about 4.22 light-years away. In 2016, astronomers detected an Earth-sized
planet orbiting Proxima Centauri within the star’s habitable zone – the right distance
to potentially support liquid water on its surface. Which is why eyes are on Alpha Centauri as
our first destination once we master interstellar travel. So is this deep space journey possible in our lifetime? And if so, how will we get there? Outer space is bigger than we can comprehend and sending a spacecraft into its depths takes a lot of time. NASA’s Voyager 1 is Earth’s farthest spacecraft
to date. It was launched in 1977, and in 2012, it was
the first craft to enter interstellar space. If Voyager 1 was pointed in the direction
of Alpha Centauri, it would still take tens of thousands of years to reach the system. And that’s because its propulsion system is
not ideal for deep space travel. So clearly we need a faster way to get to our stellar neighbors. Some scientists believe that our best attempt
at interstellar travel are lightsails. These sails would be made of ultra-thin sheets
that will be propelled using light instead of wind. One of the major initiatives researching their
potential is Breakthrough Starshot. The program, initially backed by late cosmologist
Stephen Hawking, aims to create a nanocraft comprised of a lightsail and a gram-scale
wafer that hosts a number of instruments called a StarChip. The nanocraft has a mirror-like sail design
and is measured at 10 square meters with a mass of less than 1 gram. By comparison a penny weighs 2.5 grams, so these spacecraft will be ultralight. The lightsail will purportedly be accelerated
by laser radiation pressure from Earth at about 20 percent the speed of light. The planned laser array, called a Light Beamer,
will fire beams as powerful as 100 gigawatts of specific wavelengths of near-infrared light. The nanocraft sail would need to reflect a
huge majority of the laser light to avoid instantly burning up on contact. The idea is to launch thousands of nanocraft
at once to increase the chances that at least a few will conquer the elements and reach
Alpha Centauri. If they do make it, it’s estimated, the
journey will only take around 20 years. Though some critics are skeptical about the
ability to execute Breakthrough Starshot, some of the world’s greatest minds are actively
working to make it a reality. The project is pushing the boundaries of science,
challenging humans to create an entirely new material that meets all the extreme needs
of the lightsails and to design the largest laser ever constructed. But, if engineers and scientists are able
perfect these pint-sized spacecraft and we achieve interstellar travel, humanity will
be rewarded with an entirely new understanding of the alien worlds beyond our own. If you’re looking to learn more about space exploration and astronomical phenomena be sure to watch this episode of Space Crafts. And don’t forget to subscribe to Seeker for all things science. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “How Will We Get to Alpha Centauri?

  1. Can you imagine seeing that planet for the first time? Omg how crazy would it be to see water and land and the possibility of life?!

  2. I'm just sad that after the cold war the public pretty much stopped dreaming of space travel, we should've had moon and mars colonies by now and should have manned spacecrafts that can travel to other stars as our next objective but better later than never i guess…


  4. How dumb are you people everyone knows the right way to conduct an interstellar mission and you do that by sending out human crews all you have to do is build a star gate or a warp drive it’s not hard to do.

    I am 100 percent positive that a warp drive or a star gate can be built using 21st century technology and besides sending out human crews into space can get things done faster then sending out robotic landers, rovers and orbiters.

  5. Why would you want to go to alpha centauri? I mean it's not planet, it's star.
    Why would you want to land on a star

  6. If we master this then we will be awarded with the knowledge of aliens maybe new natural resources a new less polluted planet

  7. Earth's in REAL danger Arthurian are hacking into my conscious telling me transformers will invade earth in three years. They are smart…they used my nerves to shake my head cause messages from four light years away take too long to get here to my head. We're in trouble, robot aliens or so will invade to destroy earth in just three years!

  8. Interesting but even assuming you could get these sails to Alpha Centauri how would you be able to pick up a signal from a tiny chip over 4 light years away?
    We can't even see the planet Proxima centauri from that distance let alone be able to pick up a signal from a tiny chip a centimeter cross.

  9. Are they able to steer them in any way? It would be a pure fluke if they actually got anywhere near the target, right?

  10. Did it work with solar powered lasers or something else? I think a satellite with a laser and solar panels are the best decision.

  11. I'm genuinely concerned about how this will make it out of our solar system, I mean, perhaps my understanding of what is actually out there is wrong but isn't supposed to be some sort of, let's call it 😅, atmosphere at the boundaries of our solar system that is full of dust and rocks, the one that protects us from cosmic radiation (or something like that). My question is, would this get through this easily or is there a probability this getting damaged, moved from its trajectory or even destroyed by this rocks and stuff? 🤔 Would this be an easy journey for this voyager?

  12. Why do Hollywood actors, Corrupt Politicians, Politicians, Kardashians, Justin Beiber, Porn stars, Rap artist who endorse a street life of violence, drugs and crime, Athletes
    get more recognition then Doctors, Engineers & Scientist who discover new things that could possibly save humanity these are our real super heros

    humanity is just to materialistic, naive, self centered, greedy, egotistical, narcissistic dumb dumbs

    If we all just worked together and made 1 government to govern Earth we could probably do some pretty great things

    would have already achieved World Peace if we did that

    World hunger, everyone would have higher Educations

    so that would make us more intelligent as a species

    Healthcare would be far better
    Scientist would now have more freedom to work together from different nations

    why does no one talk about this?

  13. Der aufstrebende, junge Businessmann und Hobby-Astronom Alex Elvert hat sich diesem Problem schon seit Jahren gewidmet. Er konzipierte einen Antrieb, welcher sich aus der Mixtur von Cola und Mentos zusammensetzt. So werden beide Stoffe zuerst einzeln am Rand des System-Command-Modules in großen Bottichen gelagert. Nach der zweiten Abtrennungsphase sollen die beiden, ursprünglich zum Verzehr kreierten Antriebshilfen miteinander vermischt werden. Das Ergebnis ist eine so starke Reaktion, welche uns aufgrund der hohen Freisetzung von Di-Hydroxi-Kohlenstoff-tri-Oxid einen enormen Schub über längere Zeit geben kann. So muss danach nur noch vom Piloten Seebauer die Fähre korrekt auf Kurs gebracht werden, was aufgrund seiner Ehrfahrung, welche in den letzten Dekaden durch seine Testflüge in der Stratosphäre zustande gekommen ist, eine Art Routineaufgabe werden. Den korrekten Kurs wird er von dem ersten Mann muslimischer Herkunft im All, Prof. Dr. Cilesiz, mitgeteilt bekommen. Während die Steuer Einheit der Fortress sich um die Flugbahn kümmern, werden die anderen Astronauten, Prof. Dr. Elvert und Prof. Elsholz das A.C.M., das Alpha Centauri Module, für den Eintritt auf Proxima B vorbereiten. Dazu gehört das hochfahren des Bordcomputers, sowie der Check, ob alles lebenserhaltende Systeme außerhalb des System Command Modules funktionstüchtig sind. Aufgrund der hohen Effizienz des zuvor erwähnten, revolutionären Antriebes, kann das S.C.M. ohne Probleme unbemannt in den Orbit von Proxima B gesteuert werden. Dies bringt den Vorteil mit sich, dass alle vier Astronauten auf dem Planeten landen können. Dort werden sie Experimente durchführen und neue Erkenntnisse über andere Sonnensysteme sammeln. Dies ist der nächste große Schritt der Wissenschaft. Möge Gott die vier tapfersten Männer in der Geschichte der Menschheit schützen.

  14. How do they slow down when it reaches Alpha Centauri cuz it will be impossible to study at a speed of 20 percent light speed!

  15. Another thing is you can't put humans on solar sail crafts , basically the human body can't take 20% of the speed of light but with the nuclear powered craft or the ion powered craft I talked about it can be done , it would be 60-70 more years to it but you can put humans

  16. "How will we get to alpha centauri ?" ……. answer – you won't ….. and you sure as hell aren't going to "colonize Mars" ….. Any bets on this ?

  17. Do you REALLY want to visit Alpha Centauri ??? I mean REALLY VISIT ???? Get right with God and go to Heaven , gain eternal life , live in pure paradise , and visit the stars at the speed of thought ….. There ya go ….. That's the ONLY WAY any human is going to visit a star or colonize any other planet

  18. Please answer
    We are watching the light from that star about 4.5 light years, means light from that star took 4.5 light years, my question is are we are watching the past of that star ? If yes then the actual age of that star is plus 4.5 light years from now. Is that star still available to this date?

  19. But these sails would only be able to get closer footage of the solarsystem right? So no in depth photos beneath the atmosphere of that earthlike planet?

  20. we've already finished our first demo so speak. We are set to test it out in june of 2020. I'm one of the lucky few that has been given the task to come up with a more affordable realistic type of craft. I can tell you this now because its no secrete but we have been part of interstellar travel since the 50s. We have interstellar craft out rt now that are light years away now. Some call this the secrete space program. Well. yes it's TRUE. I realize theres going to be many that wont believe what I'm about to say but its 100% true. weve already been to Mars and we have people there now. We first went in 1972 and then again in 2012. One thing we always found funny about the rovers is that NOBODY noticed something so profound that it should've slapped you in the face yet nobody picked up on it. The rover has c15 abt 11.5 solar panels. in many of the pix that were tkn of itself clearly shows the panels are covered in dust. Then in the next pix sent to us they're spotless…as if somebody cleaned them with soap and water so to speak. Lol…..I say again…we have people on mars conducting many experiments and visiting with certain travelers. Who do you think cleaned the panels? We didnt invent something to clean themselves because we didnt need to. We always knew they would be cleaned by the 8 people that are on Mars rt now. They will not be coming home until 2032. You go away for 20 years at a time but you're given the 20 years back when you arrive to earth again. Yes we can do this as well. I'll not get into this rt. now. We call it the 20 on 20 off. corey often claims he was one of these people but I assure you he was not. Unfortunately corey is just a guy that David W. found that would help him with this act hes putting on. Emery is also another person David found that agreed to go along with his plan to go around get free travel and money and a bit of fame. They knew theres. o way to prove they arent who they say. luckily more and more people are realizing they're not what theyve been claiming to be. I also just heard of a book that should be coming out soon that will be exposing David, Corey and Emery. We shall see….
    but yes….we've been in space alot longer then you think. The technology that's being used is 1000 yrs ahead of what most people have now. its still going to be many years before any of it will be available to the average citizen though. oh…one last thing that I'll throw out there. Planet X is real but it isnt going to do the damage some say it will. why? lol….because it's already passed us by. most people didnt even know it. It did speed us up a tiny bit but nothing major. we moved about an inch closer to the sun ea year. We now move closer to 2 inches a year now. If you want to see some of our interstellar craft theres a video here on YouTube that shows the craft millions of light yrs away. they were captured by a random guy and his inexpensive telescope. Some of the craft are alive so to speak and can change shape.

  21. All we have to do is build a ship like EVENT HORIZON with a gravity drive. we also don't need eyes to where we're going

  22. It doesn't matter: in 10 years we will be able to get there much faster, overtaking out probe we sent a few years ago.

  23. Bruh these kids are talking about Alpha Centauri from the netflix series Lost in Space while my youtube ads be like

  24. So thin light carries it??
    Like if u go out to dry and fix it
    U like gently touch it and it like pokes a giant hole and then rip it
    Also the laser would frickin burn it because its super thin and the laser has to be super big and strong so it can still have enough "force" from the light
    To push it
    Your starting to sound like Maureen from the netflix series Lost in Space where they are tryna reach alpha centauri

  25. Kids… It's sailing. It's all dandy as long as you take the solar wind from behind. I wonder what would happen once you go past the heliopause, and start taking 'cosmic head-winds' to counter your already diminished light pressure. The heliopause is located 123 AU from the sun. Which roughly amounts to 16.5 light hours. Alpha Centauri is located 4.2 light YEARS away… Even with a pin point laser, you cannot hope to "push" that light sail even half that distance. In layman terms, you are like a kid blowing on his toy sail, hoping to send it to the other edge of an olympic swimming pool. Yeah… No. But wha'do I know. Go with it. Not my circus, not my monkeys…

  26. After watching some space video..

    Hmmm, 4.5 light years is prety close. I can get there by my own plane ….
    Dafaq 10.000 years for voyager 1 to get there?????

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