A startup is developing a 100-gigawatt laser to propel a probe to another star system. That may be powerful enough to ‘ignite an entire city.’

Breakthrough Starshot wants to use powerful lasers to propel tiny robotic probes to Alpha Centauri, a nearby star system that may contain habitable planets. Yuri Milner, a Russian-American billionaire, and other Silicon Valley investors are funding the project. Starshot calls for a 100-gigawatt laser that could shoot into space and accelerate probes called StarChips to 20% of the speed of light. Chief engineer Peter Klupar said the laser would be brighter than the sun

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