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Breakthrough Discuss 2022: How To Make Space Missions Less Expensive

One of the components of the Breakthrough Initiative is the Breakthrough Discuss conference. The inspiration for Breakthrough Discuss came from the lack of space for discussion of life in the universe and advanced space exploration missions. Breakthrough Discuss’s creator, the technology investor Yuri Milner is committed to several astrobiology and space exploration ventures. He has a keen interest in space exploration to uncover cosmic discoveries that can help in humankind’s survival if our planet becomes inhospitable. 

In the Eureka Manifesto, Yuri Milner shares his views about the power of examining and exploring the cosmos, arguing that it can bring substantial benefits to humanity. The Breakthrough Initiative programs are part of the Giving Pledge by Yuri Milner and his wife, Julia Milner. Milner established Breakthrough Discuss to encourage and promote scientific advancements and provide a platform to discuss their future perspectives and challenges. 

Commercial firms and governments are striving to build customized, promising technology for space exploration, which results in space missions that frequently rely on high expenditures and pricey instruments. Due to the high launch costs, many space vehicle advancements were never used in space.

Currently, costly technological developments and industry disruptions are posing a threat to the conventional methods of executing research and space operations. The creation of affordable satellites, high-efficiency electronics, the decreasing cost of launches, and advancements in optical and materials science have revived space activities and have sparked the progress of the life sciences. New businesses and non-profit groups are now collaborating to raise money for innovative space exploration projects.

Breakthrough Discuss

Breakthrough Discuss is an annual scientific conference devoted to fresh and original concepts for space exploration and the search for life in the universe. It is a part of the Breakthrough Initiatives launched by Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking. The Breakthrough Initiatives, a group of space research initiatives looking for life beyond Earth, were founded in 2015. Since the first Breakthrough Discuss conference in 2016, renowned scientists have gathered and collaborated in scientific discussions. 

The most recent conference took place on June 22 and 23, 2022. Its focus was on creating creative, small-scale solutions for space research. Leading experts in the field are invited to discuss space exploration initiatives at Breakthrough Discuss 2022 in California at UC Santa Cruz. Breakthrough Discuss events are attended by diverse experts including astrophysicists, chemists, planetary scientists, astrobiologists, astronomers, data scientists, biologists, and more. 

Three sections make up the 2022 conference:

A Better Bang for Your Buck

This segment was dedicated to highlighting the cost-efficient and innovative methods for investigating the universe. Phil Mauskopf, Suzanne Staggs, Ritoban Basu Thakur, Shirley Ho, Maura McLaughlin, Sean Bryan, and Andrea Gallo Rosso were among the special guests who spoke during this segment. They emphasized the first session with the most modern, affordable universe measurement system ideas and the advantages of drilling down into it.

Low-Mass Transit

This section covered the effective and affordable means of transportation all across the solar system and even further. Alternative travel ideas have been debated by Tom Pike, Mahmooda Sultana, Sarah Gibson, Slava Turyshev, Ben Fernando, Amanda Hendrix, Francis Nimmo, Penny Boston, and Konstantin Batygin. This session focused on how alternative routes will become available through efficient transportation and the potential for profound space operations with significant scientific payoffs to new and exciting locations.

Fresh Insights on Life in the Cosmos 

This section covered the cutting-edge techniques for locating alien life forms. New methods for investigating extraterrestrial life have been discussed by Chenoa Tremblay, James Davenport, Cherry Ng, Steve Croft, David Deamer, Jason Wright, and Noemie Globus. In the ongoing quest for sentient life beyond Earth, researchers from different domains, including biology, chemistry, astronomy, and physics, are actively working together across fields. The most exciting developments in the search for alien life were discussed in this session, with a focus on cutting-edge technology and interdisciplinary collaboration.