NASA’s PASSPORT to The Stars: “Faster-Than-Light” Warp Drive

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In 2012, NASA announced that it was working to build a “warp drive” with the potential to enable “faster-than-light travel.” Mark Rademaker took that vision a step further two years later when he announced what one of these spaceships would look like—and it’s surprisingly similar to Star Trek’s Enterprise.

To develop the design, Rademaker worked closely with NASA’s Dr. Harold White to produce visual concepts. White and his team had their sights set on making “faster-than-light” travel possible with Alcubierre drives. The drives were named for physicist Miguel Alcubierre and work by distorting space-time.

Essentially, by expanding the space behind a ship and simultaneously contracting the space in front of it, the IXS could significantly speed up our space travel potential. How much, exactly? Let’s just say the 2.3 light-year journey to Alpha Centauri would be condensed to two weeks.

Rademaker’s design was influenced by Matt Jefferies’ sci-fi artwork from the 1960s. The major point of difference is in the rings. While the spaceships for Star Trek have thin rings, the IXS sits inside two circles thick enough to power the Alcubierre drive. The spacecraft is fatter than most of Jefferies’ ships too—a feature that comes with the ability to a command module and bear four cylindrical pods on its flanks.

Rademaker’s concepts give us an exciting glimpse into the future of space travel.

Source: The Verge

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