Gliese 581 c is described as one of the most promising exoplanets to sustain life. In this New York Times article, Dimitar Sasselov says: "It’s 20 light-years. We can go there."


What does he mean by that?

It would take roughly 40000 years with the fastest thing we've got today if I'm not mistaken?

I do understand that he's not talking about a crewed space mission!


Well, you are not mistaken that travelling at low speeds you would never get there.

However, there are moves afoot to send (uncrewed) probes to the nearest stars at significant fractions of the speed of light and to send back pictures to the Earth - (e.g. the Breakthrough Starshot project). In which case, information might be returned to Earth on timescales of 100 years.


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