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Self-Healing Transistors for Chip-Scale Starships

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Working with the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), NASA is pioneering the development of tiny spacecraft made from a single silicon chip that could slash interstellar exploration times.

On Wednesday at the International Electron Devices Meeting in San Francisco, NASA’s Dong-Il Moon will present new technology aimed at ensuring such spacecraft survive the intense radiation they’ll encounter on their journey.

If a silicon chip were used as a spacecraft, calculations suggest that it could travel at one-fifth of the speed of light and reach the nearest stars in just 20 years. That’s one hundred times faster than a conventional spacecraft can offer.