25th Apr 2016 : Tick Tick Boom
Tick Tick Boom
April 25th, 2016

Tick Tick Boom

And we have … err … hang-on … err … LIFT-OFF!

PS – on the subject of speed of rocket ships, you may or may not have heard about the recent proposal to send an unmanned ship to Alpha Centauri to arrive within our lifetimes.
You have to stop for a second to realise how incredible that is.
Alpha Centauri, our nearest star is some 4.37 light years – or 41,000,000,000,000 kilometers – away. Our fastest current space rocket would take about 78,000 years to get there and would require extraordinary amounts of energy to accelerate to the speed required.
The Russian billionare Yuri Milner, is funding a project to send not one, but hundreds of ships weighing a few grams all the way to the stars. Each “ship” will have cameras, comms and all the steering tech needed on board, but propulsion will be done from earth. A laser will hit the ships “sails” and accelerate it to 20% speed of light in just a few minutes!


  1. avatar robogeek

    I should make some small corrections:
    — When I say “within our lifetimes” I actually mean within a liftime. 78 years maybe. At least our kids might be around to see them arrive?
    — Alpha Centauri is not the nearest star. It is actually Proxima Centauri. Part of the same 3 star system. There’s probably 0.1ly in it – so not much really.

    And also a caveat:
    — not much chance of this happening at all really

  2. avatar Munzly

    Then, in a few years, some faster tech will be discovered and another batch of ships will be sent. These will overtake the Mk 1s. Then the process will repeat and eventually a whole stream of ships will be in flight all fated to arrive in the wrong order. Thus the alien recipients (if any) will assume our technology is in decline!

  3. avatar robogeek

    I like your thinking – maybe the later ships will be supplied with their own lasers and shoot the older ships out of the sky as they pass – re-writing history :)

) Your Reply...