NASA’s IXS Enterprise Would Make Captain James T. Kirk Proud

By: | July 6th, 2014

Traveling faster than the speed of light may soon turn science fiction into real scientific research. Although still in the experimental stage, NASA is working on a potentially groundbreaking idea,  which can allow space travel faster than the speed of light just like in Star Trek.

Engineers have created the blueprint for the “warp ship” and they have named it IXS Enterprise. The idea behind this “warp ship” is to travel to interstellar space in a matter of weeks rather than decades.

The science behind is truly mind-boggling

According to Einstein’s theory, an object with mass cannot go as fast or faster than the speed of light. The science that makes it possible lies in exploiting a “loophole” in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity which allows travel faster than the speed of light by expanding space-time behind the object and contracting space-time front of it.

NASA engineer and physicist Harold White explains that 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. This 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.

NASA’s Eagleworks Labs is now working to create a “proof of concept” for this idea under White’s supervision.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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