Show: Future Talk

Episode: 0072 Future Talk - Breakthrough Starshot

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Episode Description:

In this episode we examine a radical new propulsion technology which, if successful, could enable spacecraft to travel more than 1000 times faster than they do today. The project is called Breakthrough Starshot, and the technology consists of taking a highly miniaturized space probe, attaching it to a large but very lightweight sail, and aiming an extremely powerful Earth-based laser beam at it, causing it to accelerate to 20 percent of the speed of light in a matter of minutes. The goal is to launch a probe to Alpha Centauri, the next nearest star, and have the trip take a mere 20 years instead of the 30,000 years it would take with current means of propulsion. But the ultimate goal is to find out if there are other intelligent species out there that we might be able to communicate with. The guest is Pete Worden, executive director of Breakthrough Initiatives, an umbrella group that includes Breakthrough Starshot, as well as Breakthrough Listen (an attempt to detect electronic signals coming from other civilizations in deep space) and the Breakthrough Prizes, awarded for progress in key scientific fields. Pete was previously director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, which is one of the world’s top space research facilities. He’s a retired Brigadier General in the US Air Force, has a PhD in Astronomy, and has long been recognized as one of the world’s leading space experts. Breakthrough Starshot is funded through the "proof of concept" stage by a $100 million grant from Russian philanthropist Yuri Milner. Other notable people actively involved in the project include physicist Stephen Hawking, Sergey Brin of Google, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Episode Short Description: Pete Worden, former director of NASA's Ames Research Center and now head of Breakthrough Starshot, discusses a radical new approach to spaceflight.

Downloads of This Episode:

[SD File Downloads]: 33

[HD File Downloads]: 2

[Total File Downloads]: 35


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 0072 Future Talk - Breakthrough Starshot.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:56

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,373,693,952 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, July 29, 2016 - 00:44

HD (High Definition) File

File Name of HD Episode Video: 0072 Future Talk - Breakthrough Starshot.mp4

Total HD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:56

File Size of HD Episode Video: 3,294,835,212 Bytes

Resolution of HD Episode Video: 1920x1080

Date HD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, September 1, 2017 - 10:52