Earth first unmanned starprobe will fly past a planet close to Barnard's Star, six light-years from the Sun.
The probe will have been travelling for 49 years, guided by a computer that adjust various systems and directs necessary repairs. Spherical tanks will ring the craft. They will provide fuel for the second-stage engine, uses for course corrections during flight.
Smaller probes will leave the parent ship to explore the planet. Their findings will be automatically radioed back to the computer.
The first stage engine powered by hundreds of nuclear explosions a second burns for four years and then is jettisoned. For the next 45 years the probes coasts through space. Some millions of miles before reaching the planet, it sends out mini-probes. The parent ship transmits their reports back to Earth before finally disappearing into the interstellar night.
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