Can we reach Proxima B within our lifetime?
LOS ANGELES - In recent years, scientists have found an increasing number of worlds outside of our solar system called exoplanets, but all of them have been too far away for us to ever visit within an average human's lifespan.
But scientists think they may have found an Earth-like exoplanet close enough (relatively speaking) for earthlings to one day touch within our lifetime! It's called Proxima B, and it's located in the solar system closest to our sun.
With current technology, the most sophisticated spacecraft would still take 17,157 years to get there. That's why the founders of the Breakthrough Starshot Project want to develop and send very tiny nanoprobes to Proxima B. The nanoprobes could be accelerated to 20 percent the speed of light using a large Earth-based laser, which would get us there in 20 to 25 years!
Pete Worden, chairman of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, said that "the project is still 20 years away at least. And would cost upwards of $10 billion."
Although it's a far off dream now, one day, we'll be able to see the horizon not of our world, but of an alien one.