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Nano spacecrafts are gram level silicon chips that will be accelerated to 20% of the speed of light to reach Alpha Centauri in 20 years.

I wonder if we can break the weight limitation by shooting multiple spacecraft and connecting them after the acceleration. To test this idea, I need your help with calculating the numbers. Let's assume that we want to connect two spacecraft, $A$ and $B$.

  • $A$ is accelerated before $B$.
  • $B$ is accelerated to a speed slightly bigger than $A$
  • it takes $t$ days for $B$ to catch up $A$

As $B$ will get closer to $A$ it will have better precision aligning on $A$ collision path, but it will also require more energy to navigate $B$

Please calculate what precision is needed to collide with $A$ and what maneuvering speed $B$ needs to do it.

This question doesn't contain all the details for making this calculation. I am looking for a realistic example to understand if such a mission is even possible, so please feel the gaps with realistic assumptions about the problem.

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  • $\begingroup$ Many existing spacecraft could get through the gaps... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jan 14 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, I don't think there are many existing spacecraft with gram level weight. Could you please expand on what do you mean? $\endgroup$ – Ilya Gazman Jan 14 at 22:28

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