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Recent advances in photonics and directed energy systems now allow us to realize what was only a decade ago simply science fiction. New technology allows spacecraft to move at speeds currently unimaginable with our existing propulsion technologies and to finally reach the stars. Philip Lubin, Physics Dept. UC Santa Barbara, will discuss recent ideas for “backing up humanity” in digital format and placing this backup on the same spacecraft proposed for interstellar missions. Allowing all of humanity to have a digital presence on spacecraft raises, in turn, fascinating technical and ethical concerns.
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