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The star closest to the sun is home to an Earth-sized planet with temperatures suitable for water — if any exists — to pool on its surface, a scenario that is believed to be favorable for life, research published Wednesday shows.

But don’t pack your bags for Proxima b quiet yet. Although the 25 trillion-mile journey is a stone’s throw by celestial yardsticks, it would take more than 112,000 years to get there traveling at 25,000 mph, the speed of the Apollo moon rockets.

Zipping along at 20 percent of the speed of light, however, which is the goal of Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s Project Starshot, the journey would take 20 years. …

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The company SpaceX has a certain mystique: a founder who builds electric cars; rockets that self-land; a privately-funded spacecraft that became the first to supply the International Space Station. Soon, astronauts will hitch a ride on SpaceX’s Dragon spaceships as well.

Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to work there? Get in line.

The internship program alone had enough applications to fill a stadium last year — that’s 39,000 people. …


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