Once again, the folks at NASA are totally ripping off other people’s ideas when it comes to developing their own technology.  This time it’s Star Trek, and the proposed project is the Holy Grail of space travel – a warp drive.

NASA’s Eagleworks research lab is actually taking the possibility of faster-than-light travel seriously.  Some very, very smart people have decided that it’s feasible, so the research on how to abuse the laws of physics is underway.  They’re basically trying to knock a hole in space, creating a wormhole.  They’ll then mess about with space so that instead of moving the ship itself, they move space around the ship.  If they can figure out how to do it, journeys that would have taken lifetimes will only take a few years.  Human beings can finally rampage through the galaxy and plant the flags of our civilization all over the damn place!

Of course, leave it to science to not be as simple as just flipping the “on” switch.  NASA’s brains have a few problems they need to deal with before they can get going.  One problem involves needing an element for the ship design that may or may not exist.  The other big one is that the estimated energy requirements to move a ship in this manner may exceed the energy output of the entire universe.

The first problem is up-in-the-air, but the second one is what they’re dealing with right now.  They hope to optimize the ship and the way they manipulate the wormhole so that they can get movement without burning through multiple suns.  Of course, it’s all theoretical so far.

In order to make it a little less theoretical, researchers are trying to create their own wormhole in the lab, or, in their own words that I don’t quite understand:

“an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble.”

Hopefully, this does not result in the Earth being devoured by a tear in the fabric of space.  In my humble opinion, self-destruction would be a pretty poor way of proving a scientific theory.


Thanks to blastr for the heads-up on this one.

Category: Nerd Culture

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