In a thousand years. At least this much time will it take humanity to get to the nearest star Proxima Centauri using current technology and methods. And yet, since astronomers have discovered that near of this star may be at least one inhabited planet among scientists as never before, there has been increased enthusiasm in the direction of ideas about interstellar travel.
"This is a very tantalizing topic. Now that we know that near the star has a planet, we can be more creative in their thoughts. You can consider many options: to send interstellar probes or to develop a special type of spaceship that will allow personally, to look at this planet," — says Guillem Anglada-Escude, a leading researcher and one of the pioneers of new exoplanets.
Still 4.2 light years between us and Proxima Centauri, are current for space researchers simply unattainable. Take time to find the right solution to deal with this problem. Popular science Internet portal Futurism decided to ask its readers about when, in their opinion, the first man to leave the Solar system.
The Responses indicate that not soon. The options that received the highest number of votes are 2100 years later. So considered about 35 percent of respondents.
One of them, Charles Hornbostel, gave some explanation of my choice:
"wait to begin human exploration of Mars should be no earlier than 2025-2030. Most likely, people will not be able to reach the orbits of Neptune and Pluto by the end of this century, regardless of what kinds of new and exotic propulsion technologies will open".
Hornbostel right that many countries and private companies develop their ideas and projects for the human exploration of Mars over the next 10-15 years. He's also right in the fact that many researchers are working to create new technologies that will allow our spacecraft to fly faster.the
Some enthusiasts are optimistic about our future possibilities in interstellar travel, stating that if we pull their socks up right now, we can create technologies that will allow us to get to Proxima Centauri by the year 2100.
Others, such as Marcus young, a specialist Research laboratory air force of the United States, see these opportunities more uncertain. Even in the event the Joint Propulsion Conference in 2008, young said that his team has not yet discovered no suitable option for interstellar travel.
"There are a lot of ideas, at initial glance, you might say, Hey, it might work. But, after some investigations, you quickly come to understand that the work really will be nothing" — said Yang at the conference.
However, Yang also added that scientists should continue their work and to seek solutions to issues and problems facing the wall in front of the possibility of interstellar flight. And, fortunately, this work doesn't stop. Already there have been some developments projects, which ultimately will help us to leave the Solar system, including those where it is proposed to use the thermonuclear rocket engines. However, background radiation on the ship in this case, it will be too toxic to be able to carry people.
We can also use solar sails, giving the devices based on them additional acceleration due to the powerful laser sources. This approach is actively discussed in the program Breakthrough Starshot, whose mission is to send a small unmanned probe to the Centauri system.
Even if we find a way to accelerate the spacecraft to 10 or even 20 percent of the speed of light, in front of us will continue to stand alone is a very important issue how to protect the casing of this apparatus from falling space particles. In addition, you will need to find a reliable solution which will allow to slow down the apparatus upon arrival to the system Centauri, which, incidentally, pointed out in an interview with Western edition of the Aeon and the founder of the company SpaceX Elon Musk. In his opinion, interstellar travel is indeed possible, but at this stage of our development is simply unattainable.
"If we want one day to go to other star systems, we need to focus on the development of laser propulsion technology, which I believe will help us become multiplanetary civilization. This is the next step of our development," — said Musk in an interview.
And if he's right, space enthusiasts have reason to hope, because the first colony on Mars can appear in a few decades.
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