Foundation for Proxima Centauri
I propose that human beings should travel to Proxima Centauri B (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxima_Centauri_b) and build a permanent colony. To achieve this, I call for the creation of a dedicated scientific foundation to study this endeavor and begin planning its long-term implementation.
To travel beyond our home star, and cross the dark and empty voids of space is an immense challenge for human beings. Although we should send robots for space exploration, my emphasis is on living beings migrating to new planets. But why would we undertake such a journey? Because we are explorers, and we have been given a unique chance to go beyond our solar system. Now we know, that the absolute closest star to our sun, has a rocky planet. This planet, though likely inhospitable to life, offers the only chance for a next step for humanity out of the solar system. This is surely providence. The existence of this planet near our Solar System, defies the odds because of the almost limitless size of our universe. Humanity has an innate need to keep discovering new horizons, how could we not seize such an opportunity?
The goal of this foundation is to make this journey a reality. The work will take many centuries, but the foundation will stay the course, for as long as it takes, to succeed. There are many projects envisioned for the Centauri system and there will be others as well, ranging from micro probes to dedicated telescopes. These are all excellent building blocks for what will be a multi-generational effort by human beings in order to reach Proxima Centauri B. In getting to the destination, we will use other planetary bodies as stepping-stones. If a more suitable planet is found in the Centauri system, then this planet should become the new destination.
This foundation is the beginning of humanity’s epic destiny. We are at our best when working together for a common vision, and humanity’s eventual triumph will reflect its best abilities and most noble qualities. The effort will be difficult and our convictions will be tested, but our labors will transcend all obstacles and inspire those who will continue the work in the future.
How human beings will make this crossing, settle a hostile planet, and succeed in building a new civilization is so far unknown. There are many questions on how we can accomplish such miracles, and many would cast doubt, or cloud our aspirations with fear and inertia. But humanity can overcome all challenges. What we do know is that it will take a multi-disciplinary approach over many human lifetimes, with technological, industrial and biochemical breakthroughs that would require input from the breadth of human society.
Our journey will echo through eternity as an achievement of significance even in this vast universe. To cross from one star to another, for a living and thinking being, is a true evolutionary moment, unlike any other. In the millennia to come, we will sweep through the stars as we gain knowledge, wisdom, power and understanding.
By: Naeem Hukkawala, Brooklyn, NY