If we focused our resources we could send 40,000 people to Alpha Centuri now and they would arrive within 50 years.

Alpha Centuri is where that possible Earth like planet was just discovered.

1. Project Orion in the 1950s hypothesized using nuclear explosions to power a interstellar vessel. The theoretical speed limit of a fusion powered vessel is 10% of the speed of light. At that speed the ~4.7 light years to Alpha Centuri would take 47 years. Such a ship would cost $369 Billion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

2. To sustain full genetic diversity of the human race we would need to send ~40k people. http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/a10369/how-many-people-does-it-take-to-colonize-another-star-system-16654747/

3. Cruise ships can carry about 5,000 people. So, we would only need 10 of them to carry ~40k people.

4. Cruise ships cost ~$1.5 billion. https://www.quora.com/How-much-does-it-cost-to-purchase-a-cruise-ship

5. If we were to build cruise ships in space, lets assume they’re 100x more expensive. Thats ~$150 billion a piece or $1.5 Trillion for 10.

6. Lets assume that each of those would need to have a project Orion type drive integrated at the full cost of a project orion vessel. So lets add $369 Billion to each. So they’re now $519 Billion a piece. Or $5.19 trillion for 10.

7. So it would cost $5.19 trillion to send $40,000 people to Alpha Centuri. Give or take a few trillion. Thats only 30% of US GNP in one year.

Even if those calculations are too low by an order of magnitude the point stands.

If it was a national priority (world is ending or other reason), we could send 40,000 people to Alpha Centuri.

It wouldn’t even be that expensive.

^Day 41/90 276 words

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