Those clever science-types have done something wonderful: they’ve found a planet that orbits Proxima Centauri.
This is a very important bit of news. Proxima Centauri is the start closest to us other than our own. It’s a mere 4.3 light years away, which means that anyone there who is watching Earth TV is experiencing the glory of the 2012 presidential election.
Further good news is that this planet is within the habitable zone; the zone within a star’s area that might potentially have the right levels of everything for life as we understand it to exist. It’s also a reasonably small, rocky planet.
So we have a planet that’s basically within our backyard, that’s within the habitable zone, that’s fairly close to the size of Earth, and is made of rock, instead of, say, gas.
I’m ready. Let’s go!
Ok, so it’s a 40,000 year trip using current technology. The key here is to build new technology. Let’s see if we can get this down to 40 or 50 years. I’m sure we can manage it if we throw enough money, and Elon Musk, at it!