Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If we find the right planet, how do we get there?

Scientists think they have found at least one exoplanet in what's called the "Goldilocks zone" - not too hot, not too cold, in other words at least plausibly tolerant to Earthlike life. This brief but interesting article brings up the problem of how we get there. Conventional rocket? 380,000 years. One possible solution, discussed here by Dana Andrews, might cut it to 40 years.
COMMENT: I worked on a NASA study once that looked at this. There are several ideas for near-lightspeed travel, but they require massive investments of time and money. Still, we should keep looking at them to lay the foundation future generations will build on.

No comments: