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Breakthrough Starshot Updates with Pete Klupar (Part 1)

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Streamed live on Dec 2, 2016

Friday, December 2nd, 2016: A great conversation with Pete Klupar the Director of Engineering for Breakthrough Starshot.

Want to learn more about finding life in the Universe? Check out other Google Hangouts at www.planets.life/events.

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Breakthrough Starshot Description
Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for a new technology, enabling ultra-light unmanned space flight at 20% of the speed of light; and to lay the foundations for a flyby mission to Alpha Centauri within a generation.

The Breakthrough Initiatives were founded in 2015 by Yuri and Julia Milner to explore the Universe, seek scientific evidence of life beyond Earth, and encourage public debate from a planetary perspective.

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Pete Klupar Biography
Pete Klupar is interested in low cost, high technology efforts with an emphasis on space systems. He has developed and launched more than 50 spacecraft missions. He has spent time in industry, helping to grow a spacecraft startup from 4 employees to over 500. He has also worked in large organizations such as Boeing and Space Systems Loral. He has been involved in government space and aviation programs, most recently at NASA Ames as the director of Engineering. He has been instrumental in reducing the cost of high technology missions, developing several Faster Better Cheaper and Operationally Responsive Space efforts.

Dr. Svetlana Berdyugina Biography
Dr. Svetlana is an exoplanetary and astrobiology researcher and physics professor. Svetlana and her team were the first to see reflected light and a blue color of a planet outside the solar system, a paradigm-exploding discovery in exoplanetary research. While employing quantum effects in various molecules, she pioneered and established several innovative research lines in astrophysics, which led to discoveries of new phenomena. Her breadth, vision and fearless attitude toward research set her on the path to search for signs of life on other planets while investigating colorful bacteria and plants of Hawai‘i.

Dr. Jeff Kuhn Biography
Dr. Kuhn is a physicist and astronomer, having received his physics PhD from Princeton in 1981. He helped found the Advanced Technology Research Center of the Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii on Maui in 2003 and was its director until 2012. As a researcher, he’s generated about $14M of federal research grants over the last decade and published more than 200 papers. His innovative optical research has contributed to telescopes now under construction, like the Giant Magellan Telescope and the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (for which he is a principal co-investigator). His scientific work has been recognized with an International Senior Humboldt Prize (from Germany) and international research fellowships from Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and France. He serves as an advisor for diverse organizations ranging from the BreakThrough Starshot and Watch committees to advisory Boards for NASA and university programs. He leads the PLANETS consortium.

Kevin Lewis Biography
Kevin is an entrepreneur interested in finding and characterizing life on nearby exoplanets. He spends the majority of his time working on the PLANETS Foundation to scale their fundraising. In addition to finding life in the Universe, Kevin is also interested in developing organizations that prospect and mine asteroids. He has also had a successful career in the Hawaii travel and tourism industry where we founded multiple companies ranging from an online activity brokerage to a retail chain.

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