A fantastic space mission to visit our nearest star system and find out if alien life exists has been launched by Professor Stephen Hawking.
Alpha Centauri is 25 trillion miles away (4.3 light years) and would take around 30,000 years to achieve with present technology.
Nevertheless Professor Hawking has joined forces with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to develop know-how which might permit a spacecraft to reach the star system in simply 20 years.
Launching the preliminary $100 million part of the ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ mission on the One World Observatory in New York City, Prof Hawking mentioned:
“There are not any better heights to aspire to than the celebs.
“What makes human beings distinctive? There are numerous theories. Some say it’s language or instruments, others say it’s logical reasoning. They clearly have not met many people.
“I imagine what makes us distinctive is transcending our limits. Gravity pins us to the bottom, however I simply flew to America. I misplaced my voice however I can nonetheless converse. How can we transcend these limits? With our minds and our machines.
“The restrict that confronts us now’s the nice void between us and the celebrities however now we are able to transcend it, with gentle beams and lightweight sails and the lightest spacecraft ever constructed we are able to launch a mission to Alpha Centauri inside a era.”
Watch the full Breakthrough Starshot conference below