Commenting on broadcast media one journalist saw it as a possible distant refuge when we run out of steam on this one. So we have now found a second earth style planet, which after all was only a matter of time. I can foresee numerous problems with this suggestion, even putting aside the minute matter of distance!
The star around which it revolves is older than ours so if we are still here to see earth shuffle off supernova style, our replacement will possibly be extinct as well, and this should put a dampener on any pre-departure celebrations.
We could of course simply ruin our planet long before then by anyone of many possible ways, such as moon mining, asteroid fracking or the old chestnut climate change. So we’re off to pasture’s new, but what if the new earth is already occupied? Are they likely to welcome us with open arms? If we can travel that far it will probably be our descendants who arrive, and will they bear any resemblance to us. A few millennia in space might see us evolve into creatures who are no longer able to move around on ‘terra firma’.
We could perhaps solve this problem by simply sending a batch of frozen eggs together with examples of plant and animal life, then perhaps in a few thousand years our descendants will arrive at the romantically sounding Kepler 452B.
By then of course our distant celestial cousins will have been through a couple of global wars and our miniature spaceship could land in the middle of the chaos, and be lost in the ruins of a war torn city. Although we were originally expected, and our arrival anticipated, over time we become mere myth and legend and no one remains who remembers that it was fact and not fiction. A few more millennia pass and one fine day an archaeologist discovers our legacy, but by now no one even remembers the myth. Puzzled by the unusual design he scans the small box and believes he has chanced upon an ancient children’s chemistry set, a forgotten toy from a past long deceased. He sends it to a museum dedicated to ancient toys, and there it sits on a lonely shelf waiting for someone with more than a pinch of imagination to discover it.
Or, alternatively we might attempt to communicate with this new world bringing us to their attention. Being technologically superior they then decide to fly over at their earliest convenience to deal with the potential threat that we pose, thereby consigning us to the dustbin of ancient history.