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Abstract

In this paper it is presented the concept and design of a new type of spacecraft that could be used to make the first manned interstellar travel. Solar one would integrate three near-term technologies, namely: compact nuclear fusion reactors, extremely large light sails, and high-energy laser arrays. A system of lenses or mirrors to propel the sail with sunlight is suggested as an alternative to laser propulsion. With a mile-long light sail, Solar One could reach an average of 22% the speed of light, arriving to the closest potentially habitable exoplanet in less than 19 years with the help of a Bussard scoop producing reverse electromagnetic propulsion. Key challenges are reducing the weight of continuous-wave lasers and compact fusion reactors as well as achieving cryo-sleep and artificial gravity.

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