NASA is working with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to develop tiny spacecraft made from a single silicon chip that may offer faster interstellar travel.
It is suggested that using a single silicon chip could allow for the spacecraft to travel at one-fifth of the speed of light and could reach the nearest star within 20 years. This is 10 times faster than conventional methods.
NASA’s Dong-IL Moon will be presenting the technology on Wednesday at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco.
Currently the team is working on finding ways to combat degradation during the trip. The chip could suffer from temperature swings and intense radiation. This will also be discussed during the meeting on Wednesday.
If successful these tiny spacecrafts could be sent out in many directions to help map and gather data on various stars, planets, and systems nearby.