Faster-than-light travel was once seen as simply a key element in science fiction tales that made stories work. Faster-than-light warp drive made all that possible, at least between the covers of a good sci-fi book. In the real world though, travel to distant planets at speeds known to man, was thought to be impractical. Now, NASA is re-thinking warp drive with a focus on making fantasy into reality.
"Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed the first warp drive in 1994, but found that the energy costs associated with such a device would be problematic," says Zach Walton in WebProNews. "In fact, scientists peg the energy required to be about equal to the mass-energy of Jupiter." Way too much.
Checking in with NASA on the idea, a new space ship design from Harold White at NASA's Johnson Space Center might be the answer. "The original warp drive was envisioned as a small ship that's encircled by a flat ring that would warp space-time around the ship," says Walton. The new design would be more like a donut and, if proven true, could lead to faster-than-light travel.
A trip to Mars in minutes? Exploration of the solar system? All in line with this video from National Geographic on the colonization of Mars.