…[W]hat is clear is that Starshot will bring a set of fresh ideas and invigorating challenges to the scientific community. Even if the full mission to Alpha Centauri remains a goal for a distant future, I’d place money on the possibility of the project resulting in a revolution in our exploration of the solar system.
A scaled-down version of all that is being considered – lower power laser propulsion, somewhat more massive spacecraft with larger and less reflective sails, improved low-power communication – could open up our local territory. If a trip to Pluto took a few months instead of ten years, or a probe’s visit to Mars was a week or two away, that would also be a future to look forward to.
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