How we’ll find humanity’s next home planet | Michio Kaku


We’ve been brainwashed into thinking—by
Hollywood—that a starship has to be huge and gigantic, the size of the Enterprise. However, the laws of physics make possible
sending postage stamp-sized chips to the nearby stars. So think of a chip perhaps this big on a parachute,
and have thousands of them sent into outer space energized by perhaps 800 megawatts of
laser power. By shooting this gigantic bank of laser energy
into outer space, by energizing all these mini parachutes you could then begin to accelerate
of them to about 20 percent the speed of light. This is with doable technology today; it’s
just a question of engineering. It’s a question of political will and economics,
but there’s no physics, there’s no law of physics preventing you from shooting these
chips to 20 percent the speed of light. That means Proxima Centauri, part of the Alpha
Centauri triple star system, could be within the range of such a device. Now think about that, that means that within
20 years, after 20 years of launch we might be able to have the first starship go to a
nearby planet. And it turns out that Proxima Centauri B is
an Earth-like planet that circles around the closest star to the planet Earth. What a coincidence. It means that we’ve already staked out our
first destination for visitation by an interstellar starship and that is Proxima Centauri B, a
planet that goes around one of the stars in the triple star system. And so this could be the first of many different
kinds of starship designs. In my book The Future of Humanity, I go through
many of the possible design including fusion rockets, ramjet fusion rockets, including
antimatter rockets. Some of these rockets, of course, or technologies
won’t be available till the next 100 years, but remember we’re talking about the future
of humanity, and the future of humanity I think could be in outer space.

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