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Is there life on the Alpha Centauri system? Press release, August 5, 2015.
Colossus scientists have proposed a sensitive technique for detecting photosynthetic organisms in extrasolar planetary systems
Conclusions. The very existence of Proxima b and the SPHERE-ESPRESSO synergy represent a unique opportunity to detect biosignatures on an exoplanet in the near future. It is also a crucial pathfinder experiment for the development of Extremely Large Telescopes and their instruments (abridged).
The project was announced on 12 April 2016 in an event held in New York City by physicist and venture capitalist Yuri Milner and cosmologist Stephen Hawking who is serving as board member of the initiatives. Other board members include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The project has an initial funding of US$100 million to start research. Milner places the final mission cost at $5–10 billion, and estimates the first craft could launch around 2036. Pete Worden is tasked to run the Breakthrough Initiatives, of which this is the third.
originally posted by: jonnywhite
originally posted by: lostbook
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: 0bserver1
Nothing that I am aware of as yet. But the Webb will be able to provide a lot more data.
Phage, what do you think is the hold up with some of the faster more exotic forms of propulsion out there which aren't being used for space travelers yet? Solar Sails, Vasmir, etc...? Which would you prefer to use on a supposed trip to Proxima B?
I don't know what phage thinks, but I personally think since we got nothing to get there in years and only ways to get there in centuries or thousands of years, well... And that's only theoretical. We've not developed anything for real world testing and refinement. It's not likely be anytime soon without exotic technology breakthroughs. Probably centuries from now.
Solar sails (~1000 years travel-time at best; hundreds of years is far fetched):
www.seeker.com - Are Solar Sails the Future of Space Travel? ...
Based on energy capacity, it might be 200 years:
www.technologyreview.com - Interstellar Travel Not Possible Before 2200AD, Suggests Study...
I think we're more likely to build deep space mega telescopes (*) for possibly gaining more information about the planet and even maybe knowing if it has life on it. Or a kind of micro interstellar probe:
www.space.com - Lasers Could Blast Tiny Spacecraft to the Stars...
So it's like the universe can be seen and inspected but not touched. Since we're mostly internet obsessed, it'll be familiar to us.
(*) - www.sciencenews.org - New telescopes will search for signs of life on distant planets...