With seemingly every earthling already on Facebook, it looks like Mark Zuckerberg is planning to grow the social media giant by enlisting aliens. The Facebook CEO, along with physicist Stephen Hawking, just announced he’s part of a new plan to send a legion of miniscule spacecraft (or “nanocraft”) to outer space.
The plan, a $100 billion project announced Tuesday and funded by the Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, is an attempt to find aliens. It boils down to sending a swarm of robotic spacecraft, each weighing under an ounce, to the Alpha Centauri star system (a 4.37 light-year journey). And now Zuckerberg’s in.
Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday:
The new idea here is that instead of using large spacecraft burning fuel like people have in all traditional space travel, we’re going to create a fleet of tiny spacecraft – or nanocraft that we can accelerate to 20% of the speed of light using an array of laser beams from our planet’s surface. At that speed of 100 million miles per hour, it will only take 20 years to reach Alpha Centauri. This is a completely new way to think about space travel and exploration.
It sure is.