what’s so exciting about finding that there may be Earth-like planets 40 lt-yrs away?

So they’ve found three Earth-like planets 40 light-years away.
So what?
It’s highly unlikely that there will be sentient life, with whom we could communicate.
If there were sentient life, it’d be a very stilted conversation, with question and answer being 80 years apart.
At present, we do not have force fields, ship shields, warp drives, anti-matter conversion, Stargates or inter-stellar space ships.
Our present technology is still at a stage of a year-long, no-return trip to Mars, which is a mere 40 light-minutes away.
Our present Science requires an infinite amount of energy to achieve warp 1 and we could never have an infinite amount of energy.
Warp 0.1 would require quantities of energy that we are unlikely to achieve.
Journey time, at that speed, would be 400 years one-way, 800 years for a return flight. Factor in that you would need a constant acceleration to get up to that speed and then a deceleration from the halfway point and you immediately double that time to 1600 years.
We don’t have stasis pods, so it’s either an unproven cryogenics job, controlled by computer’s, or a seeding vessel, with an Eden project style habitat.
Such a Space colony would need to have a sizeable population (bumping-up energy requirements needed) to be viable and avoid excessive inpbreeding.
O.K., so we build this vessel, pick up some reaction mass from the asteroid belt and we set off into deep Space in a tin can held together by welds and rivets. Our atmosphere will slowly leak into Space but we can carry container’s of compressed air to compensate. We can dodge asteroids, using radar and computer’s. Human’s don’t have good enough reaction times at these speeds.
We don’t force field shields, so there’s a problem from dust particles (micro-meteoroids), which, at high relative speeds, are going to sand-blast the front end of the ship, eroding the plates and creating air-leaks.
Even, if these didn’t exist, there are still atoms of gas. In deepest Space the density may be an atom per cubic mile but at our speed that could be a severe drag, especially if we hit a cloud of gas/dust.
Sorry! But unless, somebody comes up with some new Physics, Earth-like planets are far less exciting than shooting star’s.


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