Outer space is big. Really, really, really big. And that’s why NASA has no plans at present to send a spacecraft to any of the 1,795 known planets (as of June 6, 2014) beyond our solar system. Using current technology, a trip to another star system would take hundreds of thousands of years. But what if we would travel faster than light? A couple of years ago, Dr. Harold “Sonny” White – who leads NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Team at Johnson Space Center – claimed to have made a discovery which made plausible the idea of faster-than-light travel. He’s been working since then to investigate these ideas further, and, this week, he unveiled images of what a faster-than-light ship might look like.
Artist Mark Rademaker based these new designs on White’s theoretical ideas. He said creating them took more than 1,600 hours.
The video below presents Harold White’s talk at the SpaceVision 2013 Space Conference last November in Phoenix. He talks about the concepts behind his design and progress in warp-drive development over recent decades, with the goal of reducing travel times in outer space from thousands of years to just days.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.