Est. Net Worth
$3.7 Billion Forbes
Yuri Milner, the founder of Breakthrough Initiatives, is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist. The billionaire is also Russia’s most influential tech investor. He is also a co-founder of Mail.ru and a founder of DST Global investment firm, through which he has invested in Facebook, Twitter, Alibaba, Airbnb, Spotify, WhatsApp, Groupon and more.
The brain power behind Breakthrough Initiatives can be judged by the fact that the late Professor Stephen Hawking served on the board of directors and Mark Zuckerberg currently sits on it.
Breakthrough Starshot is a research and engineering project set up by Breakthrough Initiative to develop a proof-of-concept fleet of spacecraft named StarChip. The aim is to be capable of making the journey to the Alpha Centauri star system 4.37 light-years away.
The idea itself is revolutionary as it challenges the elemental assumption that space probes have to be big colossal ships with the ability to transmit HD photos back to earth.
The breakthrough initiative plans to launch thousands of nano-sailors that can travel up to 40 percent of the speed of light—making it, as theoretical physicist Michio Kaku calls it, “the future of deep space exploration.”
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