NASA is prepping for a trip to the local three-star Alpha Centauri method–in 2069.
That’s my type of innovative planning.
The mission, first declared by New Scientist, would include a 44-year-long trip to an exoplanet seeking indications of life. Assuming NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) can figure out how to travel at a tenth of the speed of light.
Speaking at the past week’s 2017 American Geophysical Union conference, JPL Earth System Science Formation Manager Anthony Freeman presented a mission Idea.
“It’s very nebulous,” he informed the crowd (i.e. ambiguous and yet-unprepared).
According to New Scientist (as reported by Gizmodo UK), NASA’s original strategy involves lasers and tiny probes, which might or may not attain a quarter of the speed of light. There is also discussion of nuclear reactions and accidents between matter and antimatter.
I’t not even begun outlining a itinerary for my own autumnal return trip New York, let alone given a second thought about what I’ll do in 2069. NASA, however, is looking into the future–in honor of yesteryear.
More than five decades the projected mission would mark 100 years as the Apollo 11 landed two people on the moon.
On July 21, 1969, at 2:56 a.m. UTC, commander Neil Armstrong became the first man to create “one little step” onto the lunar surface, followed 20 minutes later by pilot Buzz Aldrin.
If NASA manages to pull of this operation, it may show the existence of interstellar lifetime (and mean new neighbors).
The nearest star system to ours, Alpha Centauri is 4.37 light years out of the sun; it consists of three celebrities–Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B (which kind binary star Alpha Centauri AB), also little, faint red dwarf Alpha Centauri C (Proxima Centauri).
NASA expects to one day triumph at which U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) final year collapsed in his attempt to secure extra funding for the cosmic mission. For the time being, the space agency is centered on developing the required technologies, which, in its present state, does not exist.
Closed for the holidays, JPL didn’t immediately respond to your request for comment.