Breakthrough Discuss 2016

April 15-16, 2016, Stanford University

Breakthrough Discuss (BTD) is a gathering of some of the brightest minds interested in the scientific exploration of space. The Workshop was organized and hosted by Yuri Milner, founder of the Breakthrough Initiatives, and its chairman, Pete Worden.

Two full days of the Workshop and an evening event have addressed emerging and novel trends in the world of space science. This year's event has included the 'Yuri's night' (April 15), the annual celebration of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight and humanity's achievements and future in space.

Just before the Workshop, on April 12, 2016, the day of the fifty-fifth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight, the Breakthrough Initiative StarShot was announced. The goal of the StarShot is to reach the Alpha Centauri system with a probe within a 20 year interstellar travel. The Workshop discussed various aspects of this challenge and other related projects.

The scientific sessions included:

Session 1: Optical SETI and detectability of directed energy systems
Chaired by Jill Tarter

Session 2: An exoplanet detection program focused on Alpha Centauri
Chaired by Olivier Guyon

Session 3: Gravitational lens missions
Chaired by Avi Loeb

Watch the interview of Jill Tarter who explains prospects on optical searches of extraterrestrial life


The Colossus team at BTD: David Halliday, Svetlana Berdyugina, Jeff Kuhn

BT Chairman Pete Worden presents the BT Initiative StarShot

Jill Tarter interview