An unprecedented space exploration project by top scientists and technopreneurs is developing ­unmanned “nanocraft” capable of travelling 160 million km/h to reach the nearest star system in just 20 years, British physicist Stephen Hawking and tech guru Yuri ­Milner announce today.

The Breakthrough Starshot project – which will receive US$100 million worth of research funding – is aimed at revolutionising science and space exploration, the South China Morning Post has learnt.

The project is led by former Nasa Ames Research Centre director Peter Worden and overseen by a board that includes Hawking, Milner and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Its mission is to reach Alpha Centauri – the closest star system to the earth’s that is some 4.3 light years (40 trillion kilometres) away – within a generation… see more

source: scmp