From the article, which features Adam Hibberd and Marshall Eubanks of our Project Lyra team,
We now know such a mission, at least in principle, is achievable,” says software developer Adam Hibberd, a volunteer with the initiative who built the software to design Project Lyra’s trajectory. “The possible scientific return would be tremendous and might fundamentally alter our understanding of our place in the universe.
Unfortunately we can’t just launch any year we like,” says Hibberd. “To make missions feasible using current technology, we are reliant on Jupiter taking up a certain point in its 12-year orbit around the sun, and so the opportunities follow approximately a 12-year cycle.
Marshall Eubanks, the chief scientist at Space Initiatives, a company working on small satellite systems, and a coauthor of the new Project Lyra paper, sees the mission as a stepping stone toward more ambitious interstellar missions. For example, Breakthrough Starshot, an interstellar mission bankrolled by the billionaire Yuri Milner, wants to use giant lasers to send a fleet of thumbnail-sized probes to our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. Eubanks says that an interstellar mission to ‘Oumuamua would be “far easier” than travelling to Alpha Centauri. But he acknowledges that the mission would still face a host of challenges, including simply finding ‘Oumuamua in the wilderness of interstellar space.