California, April 14: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has grand plans for his $ 190 billion company, and they are quite literally stellar! The social media giant is all set to probe the stars, with Zuckerberg announcing a $100 million project, in partnership with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday that the company will send tiny space probes to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, to investigate possible alien life in space.

If this in itself seems incredulous to you, hold your breath, because there’s more! The tiny probes that the company will build, will weigh less than an ounce and will be called nanocrafts. These teeny fellas will travel at a speed as fast as 20 per cent of the speed of light, which is about 100 million miles per hour, using laser beams transmitted from Earth. The light weight will allow them to save fuel and explore the space. Zuckerberg made the announcement, in a post on his Facebook wall, where he revealed fascinating details of the project. Also Read: Don’t deface ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg warns staff

“Our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years or about 25 trillion miles away. Even with today’s fastest spacecraft, it would take 30,000 years to get there. That’s too long”, Zuckerberg’s post said. Introducing the idea of the nanocrafts, Zuckerberg explained how they will be able to reach high speeds, saying that it will just take the tiny bots, about 20 years to reach Alpha Centauri.

“The new idea here is that instead of using large spacecraft burning fuel like people have in all traditional space travel, we’re going to create a fleet of tiny spacecraft — or nanocraft — that we can accelerate to 20% of the speed of light using an array of laser beams from our planet’s surface”, he said, adding, “This is a completely new way to think about space travel and exploration.” Zuckerberg also said that he has long collaborated with Milner to lead explorations in the extraterrestrial world.