NASA Joins Stephen Hawking’s Alpha Centauri Mission

Dec 12, 2016 at 3:14 PM ET

Stephen Hawking and NASA are teaming up to send a probe to Alpha Centauri. The space agency announced they will help Hawking and Yuri Milner with their Breakthrough Starshot project. The project involves propelling a silicon chip to Earth’s nearest star system, 4.4 light-years away.

They will use lasers to accelerate the chip to 134 million mph — 1/5 the speed of light. This is over 800 times faster than the Juno spacecraft, which is the fastest a human-made object has ever traveled.