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October 20th, 2012, 01:03
Not sure it's even worth half dreaming about a manned trip to that exoplanet yet when mankind hasn't even been to Mars. There are still lots of challenges to be addressed before tackling Mars so anything beyond that is completely in the realm of sci-fi for the foreseeable future.
Also, I'm kind of doubtful about the prospects of an
manned mission even. We've had more than enough trouble at times to send and receive signals or other data from spacecraft much closer to earth than a probe in the Alpha Centauri system would be.
Just getting a probe there would probably pose quite a reasonable challenge (the challenge being to keep the probe on track the further out it keeps on traveling and maintaining a workable signal strength).
However, even if we got a probe there, I believe the much bigger challenge would then be to actually collect and retrieve any kind of data from a such a mission. Unless I have missed some major advances in technology that do enable us to somewhat reliably stream data at distances of billions of kilometers, I'm tempted to call sci-fi on even an unmanned mission to a planet that far out.
We're just not there yet. We may have the theoretical basis to make it possible in a couple of decades or so but the practical implementation has a long ways to go.
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