“150 Years Ago, Jules Verne’s Visions Of A Moon Landing Must Have Seemed Outlandish”

David Robson’s new BBC piece examines five space missions far more menacing than landing a craft on a comet. One such proposition is a trip to Alpha Centauri. My best guess is that we never make it out of our solar system, but I hope I’m wrong. An excerpt:

Interstellar travel

Never mind Jupiter’s moons or far-flung asteroids. How about a trip to Alpha Centauri? People born today may witness this giant leap for humankind within their lifetime, if the 100 Year Starship project has its way. A joint venture between NASA and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 100YSS aims to create a framework that will allow humans to travel to another star within the next hundred years. They are considering every possible mechanism at the moment – including hypothetical anti-matter propulsion – as well as strategies to overcome the ravages of space travel on the human body. Admittedly, the chances of it working seem infinitesimal, given today’s science. But 150 years ago, Jules Verne’s visions of a moon landing must have seemed outlandish; at that time, humans hadn’t even flown in a plane. Christopher Nolan’s latest film may not be so far-fetched after all.”