Moving beyond our solar system has been one of the most ambitious projects for humans and the thought of orbiting the stars is altogether a different matter. But the biggest challenge is the vast distance that lies between the sun and the star that lies closest to our galaxy the Alpha Centauri which is almost 20, 000 light years from the old traditional spacecraft. Nevertheless, there is a new project that has been adopted by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) along with NASA proposes a completely new method for interstellar travel that will bring down the transit time in magnitudes.
This one focuses on a completely new concept for space travel that will be in form of a silicon chip and not the human ferries that they showed in the ‘Avatar’. The team calculated that a very small chip, in fact, numerous of those, can be speeded up to the one-fifth of the light speed which makes the journey between Alpha Centauri and Earth possible in just 20 years. There is only one problem in the way right now that the silicon chip cannot be built with an endurance of two decades. Therefore, researchers propose that the spacefaring silicon wafers will be build to heal automatically from very low temperatures, the bombardment of radiations or all other nasty threats that can endanger its existence in space.
While self-healing chips are more like futuristic technology, the preparation for these has been in the scene from last 27 years. It is quite a possibility that interstellar voyage will be possible via silicon chip in coming years. The main medium for building self-healing space going chips is a “gate-all-around” nanowire transistor that has been created by KAIST researchers.With these transistors in play, the nanoscale wires behave more like transistors than the old-fashioned fin type nodes that formulate the spine of present day integrated circuit based devices. These are still in the juvenile stage but the team believes it will turn into a practical reality in next 10-15 years.
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