How fast would we need to travel in order to reach Alpha Centauri in 10 years?

By ChatGPT

To travel to Alpha Centauri, a spacecraft would need to travel at a speed that is significantly faster than any currently achievable speed. Currently, the fastest spacecraft ever launched by humans is the Parker Solar Probe, which reached a speed of 213,200 miles per hour (343,142 km/h) as it approached the sun in its orbit. However, at this speed, it would take the Parker Solar Probe around 78,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri, due to the immense distance between the two.

To travel to Alpha Centauri in 10 years, a spacecraft would need to travel at a speed that is equivalent to about a third of the speed of light, or about 94,500,000 miles per hour (152,100,000 km/h).

To travel at such a speed, a spacecraft would need to overcome the significant technical and physical challenges that come with travelling at high speeds. The primary challenge with such high speeds is the amount of energy required to propel a spacecraft to such high speeds. At present, there is no known propulsion technology that could accelerate a spacecraft to a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Another issue is that as you travel closer to lightspeed, the time dilation effect will start to take place, which means time will appear to move slower for an observer on the spaceship. This would mean the trip would last longer for the travelers than it would for someone observing from Earth. Also, at high speeds, particle radiation and other hazards would become an issue and would need to be addressed.

Another alternative is to rely on the future advancement in technology, specifically in the field of propulsion and materials science to achieve such a speed. Some theoretical concepts like, antimatter propulsion, fusion propulsion and even wormholes have been proposed, but they are still in the realm of science fiction and not yet proven to be feasible.

As of now, the most realistic method for interstellar travel is using a probe and sending data back, since it does not have to worry about human physical limitations and only needs to be able to sustain the journey long enough to reach the destination and send data back. NASA, for example, has a mission called the “New Horizons” which has traveled to Pluto and even beyond, and it’s sending back data.