NASA scientist unveils warp drive spaceship concept
Physicist Harold White’s concept design explores how “faster than light” travel might work.0
The NASA physicist and mechanical engineer has been working on the plausibility of the concept since 2010 but recently revealed a concept of a warp-drive spaceship. In conjunction with artist Mark Rademaker, White’s latest design is based on his calculations of how intergalactic travel might work.
Instead of propelling a ship to faster than light speeds and breaking the laws of physics, White’s warp drive would generate a warp bubble around the ship – created by the large toroid rings. In this theoretical concept, space would be rapidly expanded behind the ship and contracted at the front, thereby “propelling” the ship forward, or more accurately, shortening the distance between two points. That is, the ship wouldn’t just move through space, but space would also “move” around the ship.
White’s work is derived from a re-tooling of an Alcubierre Drive, conceived by physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994. Alcubierre’s equations showed the theoretical feasibility of warp drive but also concluded that the energy requirements to create it would be galactically huge. White’s exploration of the original math revealed a way to reduce the amount of energy required to something workable.
Appropriately named the IXS Enterprise, White’s concept ship and warp drive design are still purely mathematical and may not be physically possible, he admits. However, NASA says it will continue to study its feasibility and perhaps one day open travel to destinations presently thought impossible