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Reach for the Stars

Posted by TestOut Staff on

At some point in the near future, possibly as soon as 25 or 30 years from now, a tiny spacecraft accelerated to one-fifth the speed of light (134 million MPH) by an Earth-based laser could arrive at the Alpha Centauri star system. Alpha Centauri contains three stars and at least two known planets, and we'll probably find out a lot more about our nearest stellar neighbor after the "nanocraft" arrives.

To infinity — and beyond!

The independent Breakthrough Starshot group hopes to build a spacecraft about the size of a "large ping-pong ball" covered with tiny electronic elements, including a computer. Years of miniaturizing digital tools to fit inside ever-smaller personal electronic devices (PEDs) has apparently paved the way for a functional unmanned spacecraft capable of interstellar travel that weighs about as much as a raisin.

Traditionally, the hardware used in space travel has been built with embedded software, negating the need for an operating system to coordinate function. The increasingly complex technology required, however, has led to (relatively) recent developments like the International Space Station switching from Windows to Linux. Yes, it's another feather in the cap of open source software development.

We're not sure whether or not the Starshot team will be incorporating Linux at any level in its designs. If you're looking for an IT path to the stars, however, it would seem that expert Linux skills could someday take you, in the words of Buzz Lightyear, "To infinity — and beyond!" It's probably more of sure thing, at any rate, than doing push-ups, drinking Tang, and hoping to someday qualify for astronaut training.

There are lots of ways to learn to Linux. Since you're already here at TestOut Continuing Education, however, look no further than our Linux+ training! Our top-flight courseware can help you build a solid, performance-based foundation for your career. We'll even prepare you to take and pass CompTIA's Linux+ certification. It's a long way to Alpha Centauri, but technology is making that distance shorter every day.

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