What Will The First Manned Mission To Proxima Centauri Be Like?
What will the first Proxima Centauri voyage, the closest star to the solar system, be like? Will it be with a spaceship like the ones we have today or with technology that doesn’t exist yet? Who will be the crew members of that mission, and what challenges will be presented during the flight?
When discussing interstellar travel, we must consider a significant factor: in the 21st century, we still do not have technology capable of traveling through the stars.
The spacecraft that have gone the furthest in history are Voyagers, which have not yet made it entirely out of the solar system and still have thousands of years to go to get out.
In addition to the fact that our spacecraft cannot yet travel long distances quickly, we also do not have efficient propulsion systems.
The Parker Probe is a spacecraft that NASA launched in August 2018 to study the Sun and its corona. It is the fastest spacecraft ever built by humans and has managed to break several records in its short lifetime.
1. Travel with a return ticket
In the first case, we have the most optimistic option of all, a round trip at superluminal speeds, where we can build a spaceship that reaches up to 10% or even, in the best of cases, 20%. of the speed of light, with this speed the trip to the Proxima Centauri star would take approximately 20 years, it is a long time, yes. Still, it is much more reasonable than a trip that lasts thousands of years.
2. Travel without a return ticket
If it becomes impossible to reach such high speeds, even with the advancement of technology in the next few years, the only option left for us would be a mission that lasts several centuries or millennia.
Difficulties and problems
A journey to the Proxima Centauri star is not easy, and many challenges and problems must be solved. Some of the biggest challenges include the following:
Distance: The closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri, is about 4.24 light-years away. At the speed of light, this journey would take more than four years, which is currently impossible. The journey would take at least 20 years, even with laser sail propulsion technology.
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