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Commentary: Let’s send the DOE to Alpha Centauri

Kite, Edwin and Howard, Andrew W. (2013) Commentary: Let’s send the DOE to Alpha Centauri. Physics Today, 66 (9). pp. 8-9. ISSN 0031-9228. doi:10.1063/PT.3.2095.

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The announcement of an Earth-mass planet orbiting the closest Sunlike star has renewed discussion of the costs and benefits of an interstellar probe. The planet, Alpha Centauri Bb, is in an extremely hot orbit, but its existence increases the probability that a planet with a liquid-water ocean orbits Alpha Centauri. Data from NASA’s Kepler telescope now show that there are about as many habitable-zone, Earth-sized planets as stars, and in April NASA decided to fund a follow-up spacecraft, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Before this decade is out, we will probably discover an ocean-bearing planet orbiting a nearby star. When we do, should we send a mission?

Item Type:Article
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Kite, Edwin0000-0002-1426-1186
Howard, Andrew W.0000-0001-8638-0320
Additional Information:© 2013 American Institute of Physics.
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131212-082327916
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42971
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Dec 2013 20:24
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:31

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