Finding a new home: Humanity’s survival could depend on a 1,000-year space journey to Proxima b

| | December 17, 2019
artist’s impression of proxima centauri b shown hypothetically as an arid rocky super earth
Artist's impression of Proxima b. Image: M. Kornmesser/ESO
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Located in the triple-star Alpha Centauri solar system, Proxima b has a mass 1.3 times that of Earth and a temperature range that allows for liquid water on the surface, raising the possibility that it could support life. The biggest challenge is getting there.

Even by generous estimates, traveling one light year in a vessel large enough to transport humans will take centuries; reaching a planet in the range of Proxima b would take a thousand years or more.

This means that no one cohort of crew members would be able to survive the journey from start to finish, so those on the craft for the launch would have to pass on the torch to the next generation, and the next, and the next, and the next.

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While it might sound like science fiction, a small network of researchers is tackling the problem of multi-generation space travel in a serious way.

But even if we never make it to Proxima b, in the process of exploring the question of how to escape Earth, some of the scientists involved in the work may stumble upon solutions for surviving on our planet.

Read full, original post: Scientists Are Contemplating a 1,000-Year Space Mission to Save Humanity

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