News

June 04, 2018

The Rothman Lab was featured in a recent episode of the HBO program VICE which aired on Friday June, 1, 2018 at 7:30pm PST.  The broadcast contained two stories; Printing Tomorrow, and Are we Alone? which included a presentation of work the Rothman Lab is doing in collaboration with the Lubin Lab on the Interstellar project to send C. elegans or Tardigrades on the voyage to Alpha Centari via laser propulsion on "chip" spacecraft.

Spaceship
January 02, 2018

Interstellar travel, light-driven spacecraft, suspended animation. It sounds like the formula for countless science fiction stories, but it could be reality in the not-so-far future if UC Santa Barbara researchers Philip Lubin and Joel Rothman get their way.

“Humanity has dreamed of interstellar flight for more than 100 years. We are working on bringing this dream to reality for all of us, but particularly for the next generation,” said Lubin, a physicist. He leads the UCSB Experimental Cosmology Group, which investigates, among many things, travel in deep space and searches for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Through the UCSB NASA Project Starlight program, Lubin’s team plans to use laser-propelled miniature spaceships (or “spacechips,” as they have been called) to transport the Rothman Group’s miniature lab animals across vast interstellar distances. These humble microscropic creatures — nematodes and tardigrades — are extremely hardy and can be placed in suspended animation to withstand the cold of space and the rigors of near light-speed travel through the cosmos.

December 06, 2017

HBO film makers came to the Rothman Lab to learn more about our Starlight project and turning our favorite worms into interstellar travelers.