NASA Engages The Warp Drive

September 18, 2012 by  

NASA Engages The Warp Drive, Somebody tell NASA you “cannae change the laws of physics”! The agency is not only convinced that “Star Trek” style warp drive technology is possible, they’re working on it and say it could be a reality in our lifetime. Let’s face it, putting some guys in a giant soup can and lighting a match obviously isn’t going to get us real far in the long term.

For the head of NASA’s Advanced Propulsion team, Dr. Harold White, it’s about identifying the “loopholes” in the physics rulebook and creating an engine that will compress the space in front of and behind the vessel, moving it to another place without actually going far.

He believes such technology would get us to our nearest Earth-like planet, Gliese 58, with a travel time of about two years. We’re coming, sexy blue ladies, save yourselves for us!

“Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.” These are the words of Dr. Harold “Sonny” White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Dr. White and his colleagues don’t just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they’ve already started the work to create one.

Yes. A real warp drive, Scotty.

When it comes to space exploration, we are still cavemen. We got to the Moon and sent some badass robot to Mars. We also have those automatic doors that swoosh wide open when you get near them, but that’s about it. It’s cool, but we are far from being the space civilization we’ll need to become to survive for millennia.

With our current propulsion technologies, interstellar flight is impossible. Even with experimental technology, like ion thrusters or a spaceship’s aft pooping freaking nuclear explosions, it would require staggering amounts of fuel and mass to get to any nearby star. And worse: it will require decades—centuries, even—to get there. The trip will be meaningless for those left behind. Only the ones going forward in search for a new star system would enjoy the result of the colossal effort. It’s just not practical.

So we need an alternative. One that would allow us to travel extremely fast without breaking the laws of physics. Or as Dr. White puts it: “we want to go, really fast, while observing the 11th commandment: Thou shall not exceed the speed of light.”

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