If we were willing to spend the money, we could send a fly-thru probe to Alpha Centaurus now. Maybe we could get it up to .1c. If so, then it's 40 years to A. Centaurus, and 4 years to get the info back. The youngest of the designers and builders would still be alive to see the results. The idea has been booted around before. Someone else may remember where (S&T? S.A.?).
I'm not a hardnosed mainstreamer; I just like the observations, theories, predictions, and results to match.
"Mainstream isn’t a faith system. It is a verified body of work that must be taken into account if you wish to add to that body of work, or if you want to change the conclusions of that body of work." - korjik