On on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking announced a plan for our firsts steps to the stars: Breakthrough Starshot.
Last week astronomers have discovered a planet with about the mass of the Earth orbiting a star in the Alpha Centauri system — the star system nearest Earth. It is also the lightest exoplanet ever discovered around a star like the Sun. The planet is too hot to be hospitable to life as we know it, but the fact that it exists at all raises hopes of finding another, more human-friendly planet within the same star system. io9 reviews possible ways to get there someday.