This spacecraft can reach another solar system in 10 years

Scientists from Project Starshot claim to have discovered the fundamental bases to build a ship that will reach another solar system in a decade.

The possibility of traveling to another star system has become a tangible goal thanks to the advances of the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, which proposes a spacecraft capable of reaching a speed that would allow it to reach Alpha Centauri in just 10 years. This milestone represents a qualitative leap in our capacity for space exploration, bringing us closer to the possibility of witnessing humanity reach another solar system within our lifetime.

Breakthrough Starshot Initiative

The Breakthrough Starshot Initiative has marked a before and after in space exploration. This project seeks to send a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to us, located 4.37 light years away. The proposal suggests reaching one-fifth the speed of light through the use of a laser-powered solar sail, which would allow the spacecraft to reach its destination in approximately 10 years, revolutionizing our approach to interstellar exploration.

How the technology behind Starshot works

The Starshot initiative is based on the concept of stellar travel at relativistic speeds, using existing technology. The heart of the project is a solar sail just three meters in diameter, powered by a series of powerful lasers from Earth. This sail, dragging microscopic sensors, heads to Alpha Centauri with the promise of opening a new chapter in space exploration.

The innovation behind the solar sail

Recent research has overcome the main technical obstacles associated with solar sailing. A groundbreaking study has shown that, contrary to previous belief, sails must have an inflated shape, similar to a ship's sails, to withstand intense hyperacceleration conditions. This design allows the sail to effectively capture laser photons, essential for mission success.

Challenges and solutions in solar sail design

The researchers faced two critical challenges: the shape of the sail and heat dissipation. The solution to the first challenge involved adopting a curved shape for the sail, which increases its strength and effectiveness. The second challenge, heat dissipation, was addressed through the development of materials capable of efficiently radiating heat, thus preventing disintegration of the sail.

Nanoscopic materials and technology

The success of the solar sail depends largely on the materials used and the incorporation of nanoscopic technology. Aluminum oxide and molybdenum disulfide sheets, etched with nanoscopic textures, maximize heat dissipation. This approach not only protects the sail from high temperatures but also ensures its structural integrity throughout the journey.

Future prospects for interstellar exploration

The Breakthrough Starshot Initiative not only promises to be a pioneering project in space exploration but also a source of inspiration for future missions. The technological and scientific advances resulting from this project have the potential to break new ground in our understanding of the universe.


The possibility of reaching another solar system in 10 years, thanks to the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, marks the beginning of a new era in space exploration. This project, combining innovation, science, and technology, is paving the way to what could be one of humanity's most significant achievements in the 21st century.

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