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Thread: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

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    Default Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    http://news.yahoo.com/warp-drive-may...161301109.html

    Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say














    HOUSTON — A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television's Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.
    A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.
    Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially brining the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.


    "There is hope," Harold "Sonny" White of NASA's Johnson Space Center said here Friday (Sept. 14) at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.

    Warping space-time



    An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind. [Star Trek's Warp Drive: Are We There Yet? | Video]
    Meanwhile, the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn't being warped at all.


    "Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light," explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. "But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light."


    With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.


    The only problem is, previous studies estimated the warp drive would require a minimum amount of energy about equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.


    But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.


    Furthermore, if the intensity of the space warps can be oscillated over time, the energy required is reduced even more, White found.


    "The findings I presented today change it from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation," White told SPACE.com. "The additional energy reduction realized by oscillating the bubble intensity is an interesting conjecture that we will enjoy looking at in the lab."



    Laboratory tests



    White and his colleagues have begun experimenting with a mini version of the warp drive in their laboratory.


    They set up what they call the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer at the Johnson Space Center, essentially creating a laser interferometer that instigates micro versions of space-time warps.


    "We're trying to see if we can generate a very tiny instance of this in a tabletop experiment, to try to perturb space-time by one part in 10 million," White said.


    He called the project a "humble experiment" compared to what would be needed for a real warp drive, but said it represents a promising first step.


    And other scientists stressed that even outlandish-sounding ideas, such as the warp drive, need to be considered if humanity is serious about traveling to other stars.


    "If we're ever going to become a true spacefaring civilization, we're going to have to think outside the box a little bit, were going to have to be a little bit audacious," Obousy said.


    You can follow SPACE.com assistant managing editor Clara Moskowitz on Twitter @ClaraMoskowitz. Follow SPACE.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+.


    Copyright 2012 SPACE.com, a TechMediaNetwork company.

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Saw this on my way back while riding in the van. I couldn't repost it because I was not internet connected. I had downloaded a bunch of news. I thought it was pretty cool.
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Damn, forgot I had wanted to post a comment on it but I have to head out now. I'll have to remember to later...

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    I guess I'm the only one who read the detail?


    Anyone who builds equipment or designs things will be familiar with the process that makes this warp drive possible.

    1. create Theory.
    2. Built prototype.
    3. Miracle Occurs.
    4. Fly Warp Drive.

    Using the above 4 steps, I have created the theory that ScarJo will appear nekkid in my house. Some Tidying up will take care of step 2, I'm just waiting on step 3.

    Using unobtanium as your keystone in a project makes it completely feasible, yeah, sure.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Companion Threads:



    I'm sure they have some secret mil prototypes on the drawing board, might even have some working.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    I didn't read the above article. This wasn't the one I saw, it was short and didn't have any details at all.
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Okay, finally have a little down time...

    My first thought was that I can't help but smile every time I see something like warp drive, transporters, replicators, or holodecks brought up in the realm of real world scientific discovery in that Gene Roddenberry's creation has given impetus to their discovery.

    The other thing... A football shaped craft with a big doughnut around it?!?! WTF?!?! I want my Defiant damnit!



    Then again, I guess these things take baby steps. Not like the Model T looked or performed like a Koenigsegg Agera R.

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    What Would a Starship Actually Look Like?

    Science fiction likes to imagine interstellar vehicles as sleek, aerodynamic ships. But there’s no air in space, and voyaging to the stars will require something that looks much different than an oversized jet.

    By Erik Sofge



    Comments

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    Concept by Project Icarus
    Adrian Mann



    September 20, 2012 6:30 AM Text Size: A . A . A 1 of 2 »


    Imagine a starship—a vessel capable of ferrying human beings from one solar system to another. Would it have wings and a cockpit? Or would it look like an aircraft carrier hauled out into the void and fitted with flame-belching rockets and glowing ion drives?

    Science fiction has offered us all sorts of visions of interstellar spacecraft, from avian-inspired Klingon birds of prey to hulking masses such as the Borg cube. In general, sci-fi leans toward sleek designs with lines borrowed from planes or cars, since those are the kinds of looks we’ve been conditioned to think of as "fast." But if there’s no air in space, why make things aerodynamic? Does it matter what a spacecraft looks like?

    Yes, it turns out, and it depends upon what kind of space travel you’re looking to undertake. The reality of starship design is more complex than anything Hollywood has dreamed up and implanted in our collective unconsciousness.

    While a manned interstellar mission isn’t exactly on NASA’s upcoming schedule, researchers haven’t abandoned the topic to science fiction. In fact, the 100 Year Starship initiative—which began as a DARPA-funded contest to lay the foundations for a flight across the stars, gathering physicists, entrepreneurs, and anyone seriously interested in long-distance space travel—just finished its annual symposium this past weekend.

    One of the participants of the 100 Year Starship project is Marc G. Millis, founder of the Tau Zero Foundation. The foundation has proposed candidate technologies and designs, including the Icarus unmanned fusion-powered probe, which would accelerate (theoretically, of course) to one-tenth or one-fifth the speed of light. Icarus, as it’s currently envisioned, isn’t the sleekest space ride. The skyscraper-size behemoth is comprised almost entirely of rows and clusters of spherical fuel tanks. But according to Millis, Icarus isn’t a definitive, catch-all prediction of what an interstellar craft might look like. It’s simply the design that might make sense to build first.

    We asked Millis, who once led NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, to take us through the basics of starship design.

    Starships Aren’t Spaceplanes

    One look at the Icarus design—or its predecessor, the Daedalus—and it’s clear what starships don’t need: wings. The only real-world spacecraft that bother with wings are ones designed to make regular landings on runways, such as the retired Space Shuttle, the upcoming Lynx (a suborbital two-seater from XCOR) or the Dream Chaser, an in-development orbital craft from Sierra Nevada. And wings aren’t even required for landings. Like the Russian Soyuz capsule, SpaceX’s Dragon currently splashes down in the ocean (though SpaceX plans to move toward rocket-powered launchpad landings).

    In both the near and far-term future, experts such as Millis imagine interstellar vessels won’t spend much of their time in an atmosphere. Perhaps the small ships that carry people from surface to starship will remain winged, but truly interstellar vehicles can scrap aerodynamics and all of the design principles that are beholden to reducing wind resistance. A starship doesn’t need to be sleek or have a pointy nose—even the stocky Battlestar Galactica is pointlessly aircraft-shaped. If anything, the equivalent Cylon ships in the rebooted TV series are more rational interstellar travelers, with their spindly arms and flagrant disregard for the entire air-centric history of aerospace.

    Surviving Sublight

    Predicting what the first unmanned starships might look like is relatively simple. In the case of Icarus, for example, the entire structure is devoted to propulsion. It’s a colossal rocket, albeit a weird fusion-powered one.

    Millis says the first person-carrying starships, however, will be dominated by the technologies that keep those passengers alive. Consider gravity, a necessity on long-distance spaceflights. In prolonged zero-g, the human body erodes, losing bone and muscle density. "With the physics we know, you create gravity with a giant centrifuge, a rotating cabin, basically," Millis says. The spinning disc on the Jupiter-bound Discovery One in 2001: A Space Odyssey illustrated this concept well, but Millis says that to better simulate Earth gravity, the real thing would actually have to be much larger. The smaller the centrifuge, the less consistent the centrifugal force is across a crew member’s body—the head, in other words, will feel lighter than the feet. Aside from being disoriented by chronic light-headedness, if the goal is to re-create the way blood circulates under the influence of gravity, consistency is key.



    Discovery One, from 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Of course, mankind can’t survive on gravity alone. A starship designed to keep its occupants alive for years, decades, or even centuries, would require systems unheard of in current spacecraft. Sections for growing crops or livestock, for example, could dwarf more traditional compartments. And spacious recreational facilities, with enough room and resources to support vast interior parks, might be crucial for fighting off the existential crisis of spending an entire lifetime crammed inside a spacecraft. What might seem laughable today, and a colossal waste of mass, could become the most defining feature of a vessel filled not with astronauts, but a wider swath of humanity—including, quite possibly, children born en route. Suddenly, a giant, rotating playground bisecting your vessel isn’t such a bad idea.

    The look of your starship depends a lot on your method of transportation, too, and all of the proposed methods of interstellar propulsion carry their own problems. Anything that requires the ship to have a massive surface area—such as using a sail propelled by the sun’s photons or onboard lasers—would have to contend with intergalactic dust. There isn’t much material out there in space, but even tiny particles are a hazard to vessels moving at some significant fraction of the speed of light. Those dust particles could cut through a solar sail; perhaps the crew would have to replace or repair the sail when it comes too perforated.



    Ikaros, Japan's solar sail project. Credit: JAXA

    Perforated sails might be replaceable, but all fast-moving starships will need to worry about dust. Forget the layouts of Firefly’s Serenity or the more recent eponymous vessel from Prometheus, with their swooping birdlike profiles and aircraft-style front-mounted cockpits. The risk of dust impacts probably means turning crew compartments into bunkers, and sticking people and any essential systems behind redundant layers of physical shielding. The result would seem ugly by sci-fi standards closer to the Icarus from 2007’s Sunshine (not to be confused with the work-in-progress concept), with its solar shield making it look more like a giant umbrella than a bird of prey.




    September 20, 2012 6:30 AM Text Size: A . A . A « 2 of 2


    The more you think about it, the less inherently sexy the starship becomes. Even Star Trek’s Enterprise is a star-hopping Ferrari compared to the industrial monstrosities that might actually make the trip survivable, based on our current grasp of physics. The Federation’s mastery of time, space, and everything in between allows writers to ignore the dangers of galactic cosmic ray bombardment, using various kinds of force fields to ward off disaster as opposed to the staggeringly thick hulls filled with water that a real starship would probably need. And while impulse drives apparently dump 100 percent of their energy into thrust, a real vessel, beholden to the laws of thermodynamics, would likely be bristling with a dizzying array of panels to radiate the excess heat generated by propulsion systems.

    Even if humanity manages to upend physics and learns to directly manipulate gravity, matter, and the properties of time and space, Millis says, "the geometry of the ship will be heavily dependent on those technological breakthroughs." For example, gravity-producing plates might call for wide halls with extremely low ceilings, whereas a field that generates gravity in a long cylinder might lead to a skyscraper-shaped starship. Both concepts, says Millis, "are in the realm of playful speculation," but whatever shapes those miraculous devices take, the end-result is likely to be stranger than fiction.

    What Color Is Your Time Machine?

    Strangest of all is the faster-than-light (FTL) starship. All his life, Millis has been running the number crazy propulsion theories, including in his 2009 book The Frontiers of Propulsion Science, which he’s trying to adapt into a more mainstream version through a Kickstarter project. Since the 1930s, he says sci-fi has remained fixated on concepts like warp drives and hyperspace, when it’s the crazier-sounding technologies that might actually realize FTL travel.

    Take, for example, the old soap-boat experiment: Put a drop of soap behind a toy boat, and watch it scoot across the surface of the bath. In 1996 physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a warp drive that works much the same way—it focuses not on the notional vessel and its own built-in propulsion, but on the distortion of space-time into a ship-propelling wave.

    Millis says the only equations that support FTL involve space-time sleight-of-hand, such as wormholes or Alcubierre’s warp effect. And a vessel that can cheat its way between the stars isn’t exactly a "starship" in the way we think of them. It isn’t going fast, so there’s no real risk of explosive dust impacts. By its very nature, it isn’t traveling for very long durations, so never mind the cavernous hydroponic farms. It might even be a single-stage craft, designed to be towed before and after its bizarre shortcut and with almost no traditional propulsion of its own.

    In other words: The vessel look like just about anything, so there’s no reason to assume it will look like something that flies. The FTL starship is more of a time machine than a rocket, a device capable of impossibly high-energy physics, none of which involves thermodynamic thrust. If a sub-light interstellar spacecraft has all the sex appeal of a nuclear powerplant, the warp-class version is likely to have the swooping curves of 10 daisy-chained Large Hadron Colliders.

    Science Fact?

    Millis isn’t the kind of physicist who has to be baited into discussing warp drives and wormholes, and considering that his foundation is named after Tau Zero, Poul Anderson’s 1970 novel about an interstellar colonization mission gone awry, he doesn’t dismiss the role of science fiction in his life’s work. "It gives you starting points to picture these capabilities, to imagine and list them all," says Millis. "Then you can distill them down, extract what the workable questions are. That’s where you can transition to science investigation."



    He says the closest that Hollywood has come to capturing the nonspaceship weirdness of a notional FTL vehicle is 1997’s Contact. If you’ve seen the movie you know "vehicle" isn’t the right term; the character call their FTL device the "machine." It entails both a single-seat spherical pod and the mass of rotating, overlapping rings that the pod (with Jodi Foster inside) drops into.

    As for slower-than-light starships, Millis was impressed by the design featured (briefly) in the beginning of James Cameron’s Avatar, because of its massive heat radiators, bigger than any ship he’s seen on the large or small screen. "If you have excess energy, which is usually in the form of low-grade heat, you need huge radiators to keep the vehicle from destroying itself," he says.

    Millis doesn’t expect Hollywood to nail the details of space travel. Too much realism could undercut what science fiction does best—inspire new generations of pioneers to tackle problems that can’t be solved in their lifetimes. "We need those pioneers. People don’t want to start solving a problem till it looks like it can be solved," Millis says. "But if we’re dealing with the survival of humanity, do we really want to procrastinate? If it’s going to take a couple centuries to figure it out, shouldn’t we start now, instead of when the asteroid is spotted, and we have three years to evacuate?"
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Screw that guy! He'd probably have us flying around in these:



    I want something with a little style!

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    lol

    Borg Cubes

    I want one. Along with the Army that goes with it.

    Might be better than Obama's army.
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.


    How NASA Might Build Its Very First Warp Drive

    November 26, 2012


    The above image of a Vulcan command ship features a warp engine similar to an Alcubierre Drive

    A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein's law of relativity. We contacted White at NASA and asked him to explain how this real life warp drive could actually work.

    The Alcubierre Drive

    The idea came to White while he was considering a rather remarkable equation formulated by physicist Miguel Alcubierre. In his 1994 paper titled, "The Warp Drive: Hyper-Fast Travel Within General Relativity," Alcubierre suggested a mechanism by which space-time could be "warped" both in front of and behind a spacecraft.



    Michio Kaku dubbed Alcubierre's notion a "passport to the universe." It takes advantage of a quirk in the cosmological code that allows for the expansion and contraction of space-time, and could allow for hyper-fast travel between interstellar destinations. Essentially, the empty space behind a starship would be made to expand rapidly, pushing the craft in a forward direction — passengers would perceive it as movement despite the complete lack of acceleration.

    White speculates that such a drive could result in "speeds" that could take a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri in a mere two weeks — even though the system is 4.3 light-years away.



    In terms of the engine's mechanics, a spheroid object would be placed between two regions of space-time (one expanding and one contracting). A "warp bubble" would then be generated that moves space-time around the object, effectively repositioning it — the end result being faster-than-light travel without the spheroid (or spacecraft) having to move with respect to its local frame of reference.

    "Remember, nothing locally exceeds the speed of light, but space can expand and contract at any speed," White told io9. "However, space-time is really stiff, so to create the expansion and contraction effect in a useful manner in order for us to reach interstellar destinations in reasonable time periods would require a lot of energy."

    And indeed, early assessments published in the ensuing scientific literature suggested horrific amounts of energy — basically equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter (what is 1.9 × 1027 kilograms or 317 Earth masses). As a result, the idea was brushed aside as being far too impractical. Even though nature allowed for a warp drive, it looked like we would never be able to build one ourselves.

    "However," said White, "based on the analysis I did the last 18 months, there may be hope." The key, says White, may be in altering the geometry of the warp drive itself.

    A New design

    In October of last year, White was preparing for a talk he was to give for the kickoff to the 100 Year Starship project in Orlando, Florida. As he was pulling together his overview on space warp, he performed a sensitivity analysis for the field equations, more out of curiosity than anything else.



    "My early results suggested I had discovered something that was in the math all along," he recalled. "I suddenly realized that if you made the thickness of the negative vacuum energy ring larger — like shifting from a belt shape to a donut shape — and oscillate the warp bubble, you can greatly reduce the energy required — perhaps making the idea plausible." White had adjusted the shape of Alcubierre's ring which surrounded the spheroid from something that was a flat halo to something that was thicker and curvier.

    He presented the results of his Alcubierre Drive rethink a year later at the 100 Year Starship conference in Atlanta where he highlighted his new optimization approaches — a new design that could significantly reduce the amount of exotic matter required. And in fact, White says that the warp drive could be powered by a mass that's even less than that of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

    That's a significant change in calculations to say the least. The reduction in mass from a Jupiter-sized planet to an object that weighs a mere 1,600 pounds has completely reset White's sense of plausibility — and NASA's.

    Hitting The Lab

    Theoretical plausibility is all fine and well, of course. What White needs now is a real-world proof-of-concept. So he's hit the lab and begun work on actual experiments.

    "We're utilizing a modified Michelson-Morley interferometer — that allows us to measure microscopic perturbations in space time," he said. "In our case, we're attempting to make one of the legs of the interferometer appear to be a different length when we energize our test devices." White and his colleagues are trying to simulate the tweaked Alcubierre drive in miniature by using lasers to perturb space-time by one part in 10 million.

    Of course, the interferometer isn't something that NASA would bolt onto a spaceship. Rather, it's part of a larger scientific pursuit.

    "Our initial test device is implementing a ring of large potential energy — what we observe as blue shifted relative to the lab frame — by utilizing a ring of ceramic capacitors that are charged to tens of thousands of volts," he told us. "We will increase the fidelity of our test devices and continue to enhance the sensitivity of the warp field interferometer — eventually using devices to directly generate negative vacuum energy."

    He points out that Casimir cavities, physical forces that arise from a quantized field, may represent a viable approach.

    And it's through these experiments, hopes White, that NASA can go from the theoretical to the practical.

    Waiting For That "Chicago Pile" Moment

    Given just how fantastic this all appears, we asked White if he truly thinks a warp-generating spacecraft might someday be constructed.

    "Mathematically, the field equations predict that this is possible, but it remains to be seen if we could ever reduce this to practice."



    What White is waiting for is existence of proof — what he's calling a "Chicago Pile" moment — a reference to a great practical example.

    "In late 1942, humanity activated the first nuclear reactor in Chicago generating a whopping half Watt — not enough to power a light bulb," he said. "However, just under one year later, we activated a ~4MW reactor which is enough to power a small town. Existence proof is important."

    His cautious approach notwithstanding, White did admit that a real-world warp drive could create some fascinating possibilities for space travel — and would certainly reset our sense of the vastness of the cosmos.

    "This loophole in general relativity would allow us to go places really fast as measured by both Earth observers, and observers on the ship — trips measured in weeks or months as opposed to decades and centuries," he said.

    But for now, pursuit of this idea is very much in science mode. "I'm not ready to discuss much beyond the math and very controlled modest approaches in the lab," he said.

    Which makes complete sense to us, as well. But thanks to these preliminary efforts, White has already done much to instill a renewed sense of hope and excitement over the possibilities. Faster-than-light travel may await us yet.




    Oh and this...

    Star Trek: Impulse Engines Currently Being Built

    October 16, 2012

    The story of the original television series Star Trek, which aired from 1966 to 1969, was based on the crew of the Starship Enterprise, which had two main tasks to perform: the first was to explore space, and the second was to defend the United Federation of Planets from those who would do it harm.

    Though Star Trek was short-lived compared to other programs, the series gained a huge fan base of followers. I was not privy to the original series during its first broadcast since I was serving my country overseas in the US Air Force; I did, however, get to enjoy the reruns that almost immediately surfaced on television as its popularity continued and grew to spawn movies and spinoffs over the next few decades. I believe what made the original Star Trek so popular were two things.

    First, there was the technology that was being shown for the first time, such as a starship being able to travel over vast amount of space quickly and safely, and also the ability for humans to travel from a transporter to another location and back again. The second was the characters, who came from a variety of different backgrounds, making each unique in his or her own way.

    The Starship Enterprise, according to my fellow writer Ryan Matthew Pierson, had two distinct propulsion systems. Impulse engines actually did move the Enterprise by what we normally would call propulsion. Warp engines actually moved space around the ship at speeds faster than light.

    A team of scientists at the University of Huntsville’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, along with Boeing and the Marshall Space center’s Propulsion Engineering Lab, are working on what could turn out to be one of the biggest developments in propulsion. From prop driven airplanes, which first propelled the Wright Brothers’ plane, to jet engines and space engines, all were propelled by using some type of fossil fuel. What the impulse engine will be using is nuclear fusion technology to drive spacecraft of the future.

    The huge apparatus, known as the Decade Module Two (DM2), was originally developed to gather research into the effects of nuclear weapons explosions. The development continued until researchers turned their attention to propulsion, which is now being centered on spacecraft for the future exploration of space. Even though some may see this propulsion engine as a possible bomb, others in the space industry who are developing the engine state that the engine is completely safe and will not explode.

    According to those who are involved in the research, there currently is no intention of using the technology to power either military or commercial aircraft. The spacecrafts that are being considered for this type of propulsion would be used for flights to Mars, which the researchers are hoping would cut the flight time from six months to six weeks. In addition, the time to explore deep space would be dramatically reduced, and space travellers would be able to visit other planets in months rather than years.

    In addition to speed, the spacecraft would be lighter since tons of fuel would not be needed for the trip. By having a lighter payload for fuel, more equipment could be stored on the aircraft, providing additional means of conducting scientific studies while in flight and also on the planets themselves. One could only imagine the amount of knowledge that could be obtained in a shorter amount of time compared to the Curiosity rover that is currently roaming around Mars.

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    I'll be happy to be in command of a sailing vessel for the time being. /grin
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    I was always kinda partial to one of these...


    Chromed out, semi-retro lines, big power. Sorta like the space version of a 1956 Chrysler 300B

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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    "Remember, nothing locally exceeds the speed of light, but space can expand and contract at any speed," White told io9. "However, space-time is really stiff, so to create the expansion and contraction effect in a useful manner in order for us to reach interstellar destinations in reasonable time periods would require a lot of energy."
    So... what... we need like several dozen nuclear reactors in tandem?
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    "My early results suggested I had discovered something that was in the math all along," he recalled. "I suddenly realized that if you made the thickness of the negative vacuum energy ring larger — like shifting from a belt shape to a donut shape — and oscillate the warp bubble, you can greatly reduce the energy required — perhaps making the idea plausible." White had adjusted the shape of Alcubierre's ring which surrounded the spheroid from something that was a flat halo to something that was thicker and curvier.

    He presented the results of his Alcubierre Drive rethink a year later at the 100 Year Starship conference in Atlanta where he highlighted his new optimization approaches — a new design that could significantly reduce the amount of exotic matter required. And in fact, White says that the warp drive could be powered by a mass that's even less than that of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

    That's a significant change in calculations to say the least. The reduction in mass from a Jupiter-sized planet to an object that weighs a mere 1,600 pounds has completely reset White's sense of plausibility — and NASA's.
    Wow!

    Ok. I GET it... one nuclear engine. WOW.

    Hell, should be able to produce one in the garage for a couple million bucks!
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    Warp speed, Scotty: Faster than light drives a reality?

    By Jillian Scharr
    Published May 14, 2013
    TechNewsDaily



    • NASA appears to be debating a way to permanently colonize another planet, boldly going where no one has ever gone -- and where no one could come back, some fear. (Paramount)






    In the "Star Trek" TV shows and films, the U.S.S. Enterprise's warp engine allows the ship to move faster than light, an ability that is, as Spock would say, "highly illogical."


    However, there's a loophole in Einstein's general theory of relativity that could allow a ship to traverse vast distances in less time than it would take light. The trick? It's not the starship that's moving — it's the space around it.


    In fact, scientists at NASA are right now working on the first practical field test toward proving the possibility of warp drives and faster-than-light travel. Maybe the warp drive on "Star Trek" is possible after all. [See also: Warp Drive: Can It Be Done? (Video)]
    'Nature can do it. So the salient question is, can we?'
    - Physicist Harold 'Sonny' White, with NASA's Johnson Space Center



    According to Einstein's theory, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. The original "Star Trek" series ignored this "universal speed limit" in favor of a ship that could zip around the galaxy in a matter of days instead of decades. They tried to explain the ship's faster-than-light capabilities by powering the warp engine with a "matter-antimatter" engine. Antimatter was a popular field of study in the 1960s, when creator Gene Roddenberry was first writing the series. When matter and antimatter collide, their mass is converted to kinetic energy in keeping with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula, E=mc2.


    In other words, matter-antimatter collision is a potentially powerful source of energy and fuel, but even that wouldn't be enough to propel a starship to faster-than-light speeds.


    Nevertheless, it's thanks to "Star Trek" that the word "warp" is now practically synonymous with faster-than-light travel.


    Is warp drive possible?

    Decades after the original "Star Trek" show had gone off the air, pioneering physicist and avowed Trek fan Miguel Alcubierre argued that maybe a warp drive is possible after all. It just wouldn't work quite the way "Star Trek" thought it did.


    Things with mass can't move faster than the speed of light. But what if, instead of the ship moving through space, the space was moving around the ship?


    Space doesn't have mass. And we know that it's flexible: space has been expanding at a measurable rate ever since the Big Bang. We know this from observing the light of distant stars — over time, the wavelength of the stars' light as it reaches Earth is lengthened in a process called "redshifting." According to the Doppler effect, this means that the source of the wavelength is moving further away from the observer — i.e. Earth.


    So we know from observing redshifted light that the fabric of space is movable. [See also: What to Wear on a 100-Year Starship Voyage]


    Alcubierre used this knowledge to exploit a loophole in the "universal speed limit." In his theory, the ship never goes faster than the speed of light — instead, space in front of the ship is contracted while space behind it is expanded, allowing the ship to travel distances in less time than light would take. The ship itself remains in what Alcubierre termed a "warp bubble" and, within that bubble, never goes faster than the speed of light.


    Since Alcubierre published his paper "The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity" in 1994, many physicists and science fiction writers have played with his theory —including "Star Trek" itself. [See also: Top 10 Star Trek Technologies]


    Alcubierre's warp drive theory was retroactively incorporated into the "Star Trek" mythos by the 1990s TV series "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
    In a way, then, "Star Trek" created its own little grandfather paradox: Though ultimately its theory of faster-than-light travel was heavily flawed, the series established a vocabulary of light-speed travel that Alcubierre eventually formalized in his own warp drive theories.


    The Alcubierre warp drive is still theoretical for now. "The truth is that the best ideas sound crazy at first. And then there comes a time when we can't imagine a world without them." That's a statement from the 100 Year Starship organization, a think tank devoted to making Earth what "Star Trek" would call a "warp-capable civilization" within a century.


    The first step toward a functional warp drive is to prove that a "warp bubble" is even possible, and that it can be artificially created.


    That's exactly what physicist Harold "Sonny" White and a team of researchers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Texas are doing right now.


    NASA's warp drive project

    According to Alcubierre's theory, one could create a warp bubble by applying negative energy, or energy created in a vacuum. This process relies on the Casimir effect, which states that a vacuum is not actually a void; instead, a vacuum is actually full of fluctuating electromagnetic waves. Distorting these waves creates negative energy, which possibly distorts space-time, creating a warp bubble.


    To see if space-time distortion has occurred in a lab experiment, the researchers shine two highly targeted lasers: one through the site of the vacuum and one through regular space. The researchers will then compare the two beams, and if the wavelength of the one going through the vacuum is lengthened, i.e. redshifted, in any way, they'll know that it passed through a warp bubble. [See also: How Video Games Help Fuel Space Exploration]


    White and his team have been at work for a few months now, but they have yet to get a satisfactory reading. The problem is that the field of negative energy is so small, the laser so precise, that even the smallest seismic motion of the earth can throw off the results.


    When we talked to White, he was in the process of moving the test equipment to a building on the Johnson Space Center campus that was originally built for the Apollo space program. "The lab is seismically isolated, so the whole floor can be floated," White told TechNewsDaily. "But the system hadn't been [activated] for a while so part of the process was, we had the system inspected and tested."


    White is now working on recalibrating the laser for the new location. He wouldn't speculate on when his team could expect conclusive data, nor how long until fully actuated warp travel might be possible, but he remains convinced that it's only a matter of time.


    "The bottom line is, nature can do it," said White. "So the salient question is, 'can we?'"



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/05/...#ixzz2TNZTBao7
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    You know, if they can actually do this - then I am going to predict that ANYTHING is possible from here on out.

    Think about it. This idea of Warp Drive was Gene Roddenberry's idea to get around Einstein and now it's just something that might be "possible" now.

    In 1984 I started a book (writing it) based on a role playing game we were playing. One of the things I postulated was the World Wide Web (I didn't call it that, I had a different name, but it was the same thing) and it used computers tied together all over the world holding all the world' s knowledge - which was eventually moved to another place; but that's for another time.

    Basically I postulated something like the internet and it came true. Now, unlike Al Gore I can't take 'credit for inventing the internet' (though I DO have proof I wrote this stuff almost 30 years ago, lol whereas Al Gore doesn't have proof of anything).

    If *I* can "predict" something like the internet while simply writing and Roddenberry can predict Warp Drive (even if it isn't precisely as stated in Star Trek) then I'd have to say the chances of intelligent aliens existing out there just went up astronomically (no pun intended).

    Truth is, if the human race can put its collective minds together long enough to concentrate on problems like this they can solve those problems.

    We will be going to Mars soon enough, and then to Alpha and Proxima Centuari in 30 years I think, then beyond.
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.

    I need to point out something else.

    They mention the speed of a laser, and the shaking of the Earth in trying to measure the speed of two lasers. They have to "float" the floor to prevent
    White and his team have been at work for a few months now, but they have yet to get a satisfactory reading. The problem is that the field of negative energy is so small, the laser so precise, that even the smallest seismic motion of the earth can throw off the results.
    When I visited LLNL a few years back and saw the NIF (National Ignition Facility) and how they were trying to create a fusion reaction with the lasers it was very similar to something else I envisioned back in 1984 (in my book, the fusion reactor for the space station) and I told the head physicist that I thought their idea was great, but the concept was wrong.

    I told them they needed to do this in space, outside of gravity and it would work. He took my name, information and said if that comes to pass they'd "give me credit" (I doubt that and all but what the hell, right?)

    If they do this thing in SPACE, without gravity, it will work I think. Doing it inside the gravitational field of the planet will show it is impossible. This is another "thing" in SF. Writers routinely "predict" real life events long before they are even believed to be real or even possible.
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    Default Re: Warp drive feasible? Apparently so.


    EmDrive: NASA May Have Just Accidentally Developed Warp Drive

    April 28, 2015

    NASA scientists working on an experimental propulsion device, the EmDrive, may have accidentally developed a warp drive system, accelerating laser beams to speeds beyond that of light.

    Faster than light travel, commonly referred to as warp drive, has long been the stuff of science fiction legend, yet thanks to the inadvertent efforts of some NASA researchers, it may have just become a reality. Although their findings have yet to be confirmed, posts on the NASA Space Flight Forum have detailed the efforts of researchers working on the EmDrive system. They report that when lasers were fired into the resonance chamber of the EmDrive, some of the beams were found to be traveling at speeds in excess of that attained by light, long thought to be a physical near-impossibility.

    If those findings are verified, it would indicate that NASA has inadvertently created a warp field or bubble using the EmDrive technology. As Mysterious Universe points out, several of the comments on the forum reveal aspects of the accidental discovery which have excited researchers.

    Critics will be quick to point out that the measured effect, which seems to indicate the presence of a warp field could possibly be caused by atmospheric heating, as the Escapist points out. The next step for researchers will be to replicate the test in a vacuum, and if they are successful, it could mean that NASA is one step closer to generating a warp bubble large enough to power a spaceship. It is highly important, however, to point out that none of this information has yet been verified or peer-reviewed.

    The concept of warp drive, while it has its deepest roots in science fiction, was first proposed scientifically in the 1990s by physicist Miguel Alcubierre. He posited that a field could be generated which would cause the space ahead of a starship to contract, expanding once more in its wake. Massive energy requirements, however, stymied the development of his drive system. In the meantime, NASA has been working on the EmDrive, a device that produces microwaves to generate thrust and requires no fuel to be consumed as a propellent, as the Inquisitr has previously reported.

    While confirmation of the discovery is still pending, science fiction fans and scientists alike will no doubt watch the coming developments closely, hoping that NASA’s EmDrive experiments may have just set humanity on a path to warp drive.

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