How Will Humans Get to Alpha Centauri?

Robert T. Gonzalez

Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a star in Alpha Centauri, just 4.3 light-years from Earth. With surface temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees fahrenheit, this particular planet would be inhospitable, but the fact that it exists at all raises hopes of finding another, more human-friendly planet within the same star system.

Just for fun, let’s say we found that planet tomorrow. How would we get there?

Some of the most ambitious spacefaring scenarios out there put a cap of 1/10th the speed of light on our maximum travel velocity. We’re obviously nowhere near achieving such celerity, but even if we could, the trip to Alpha Centauri would still take upwards of 40 years. By definition, that means we’re going to need a generation ship.

Read more: How Will Humans Get to Alpha Centauri? — io9.

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