SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Sunday said that the Proxima b is “practically next door.”
What Happened: Proxima Centauri b was discovered in 2016. It is larger than Earth with mass 1.27 times that of Earth’s and radius 1.03 times. It takes 11.2 days to complete an orbit around its star Proxima Centauri. Four light-years away from Earth, it is also Earth’s closest known exoplanet neighbor.
Responding to an article on the planet on Twitter, Musk wrote, “Practically next door.”
Why It Matters: Though the planet is within the distance from its star to allow water to pool on its surface, it doesn’t mean its habitable, says NASA. Whether water actually exists on the planet or whether an atmosphere could survive at that orbit is still unclear.
Musk has time and again reiterated his dreams of making life “multi-planetary“. In 2020, he said that he would send a million people to Mars by 2050 aboard SpaceX-manufactured Starship. He nicknamed the rocket “modern Noah’s Ark“.
Late last month, Musk said that Starship’s second flight should be in two months. Major launchpad upgrades will be completed in a month and then another month would be needed for rocket testing on pad, the CEO explained.
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