DARPA wants to kickstart a plan to send people to another star

We are pretty far off from sending humans to a star other than our own; at least a couple of centuries, scientists think. But it's never too early to start planning.

DARPA is set to hand out $500,000 to an organization dedicated to studying just what it would take to travel to Alpha Centauri or another nearby star. Current projections say that we could get a scientific probe to that star, which is 4.4 light years away, in less than 100 years.

Of course, there's a lot to figure out when planning such an epic, and expensive, voyage. They'll be studying what it would take "organizationally, technically, sociologically and ethically" to make it happen. And once DARPA hands out that half a million, that's all the government wants to put into the project; they're hoping that the private sector will pick up the slack and take it from there. Hey, I hear there's gold in the center of Alpha Centauri! Seems like a sound investment.

Via NY Times

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