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I found this at http://www.nature.com/news/the-exoplanet-next-door-1.11605

Even when launched by one of the most powerful rockets on Earth, boosted by a gravitational slingshot around Jupiter, and further accelerated by a radioisotope thruster, that probe would take about 28,000 years to reach α Centauri. Quoting British author Douglas Adams, McNutt quips: “Space is big. Really big.”

Is this still the fastest we can get right now?

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  • $\begingroup$ Nerds at NASA are toying with the idea of compressing space so that the distance between the destination and yourself is zero, we can do leopard crawl and still beat the rocket. Anyway this is still an idea. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Apr 18 '15 at 9:32
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For small values of practical an interstellar Orion craft could achieve ~3.3% c (~133 years to Alpha Centauri, one way with no deceleration at the end of the trip)). Which is in principle within reach of present technology if we chose to pursue it. But cost and aversion to nuclear technology on such an extravagant scale make it unlikely that we will see Orion space craft of any ilk built in the foreseeable future.

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  • $\begingroup$ that wiki page also states "Later studies indicate that the top cruise velocity that can theoretically be achieved by a Teller-Ulam thermonuclear unit powered Orion starship" ... "Orion thermonuclear starships would require a flight time of at least 44 years to reach Alpha Centauri" $\endgroup$ – rubo77 Apr 16 '15 at 21:53

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