Happy New Year,

This is just a proposition, but as long as they are not going to
procreate the machines in deep space, seems cool.





Tiny gram-scale interstellar probes pushed by laser light are likely
to be the only technology capable of reaching another star this
century. We presuppose availability by mid-century of a laser beamer
powerful enough (~100-GW) to boost a few grams to relativistic speed,
lasersails robust enough to survive launch, and terrestrial light
buckets (~1-sq.km) big enough to catch our optical signals. Then our
proposed representative mission, around the third quarter of this
century, is to fly by our nearest neighbor, the potentially habitable
world Proxima b, with a large autonomous swarm of 1000s of tiny


A swarm would tolerate significant attrition en route, mitigating the
risk of “putting all your eggs in one basket,” and enabling close
observation of Proxima b from multiple vantage points. Fortunately, we
don’t have to wait until mid-century to make practical progress – we
can explore and test swarming techniques now in a simulated
environment, which is what we propose to do in this work. We
anticipate our innovations would have a profound effect on space
exploration, complementing existing techniques and enabling entirely
new types of missions, for example picospacecraft swarms covering all
of cislunar space, or instrumenting an entire planetary
magnetosphere. Well before mid-century we foresee a number of such
missions, starting in Earth or lunar orbit, but in time extending deep
into the outer Solar system. For example, such a swarm could explore
the rapidly receding interstellar object 1I/’Oumuamua or the solar
gravitational lens. These would both be precursors to the ultimate
interstellar mission, but also scientifically valuable in their own right.


Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_r...@bigfoot.com             **

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