Saturday, April 23, 2016

Breakthrough Starshot.

Can you imagine the following?

   * A spacecraft taking just half an hour to reach the red planet, Mars, as against the 8 to 9
      months it takes now.
   * A spacecraft reaching the farthest planet, Pluto in 72 hrs, as against the 10 yrs it takes now.
   * A possible fly by mission reaching the ALPHA CENTAURI, our nearest star system
      which is about 25 trillion miles away, within 20 yrs of its launch.

The milestones mentioned above will become realities if the mission 'Breakthrough Starshot' were to achieve success. It's a research and engineering programme which will seek proof of concept for using light beam to propel gram scale, ultralight 'nano craft' to speed up to 100 million miles an hour. In other words, it involves a ground based light beamer pushing miniature space probes attached to the light sails!

The project was announced a week ago on 12 Apr, in New York by Russian internet billionaire, Yuri Milner and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking. Mark Zuckerberg of the Facebook fame and other key personalities in the field of space exploration are part of the project.

Well, it will turn sci-fi to reality!

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India, along with 174 nations, signed the Paris Climate Agreement last Friday. It was signed in the UN General Assembly hall at a high level ceremony and the country was represented by Prakash Javadekar, the environment minister. The ceremony also set the record for the most countries to sign an international agreement previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the UNCLOS(United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea).      


Wish there were many more such agreements that can ultimately herald world peace.

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