The term warp drive typically brings up memories of Star Trek and Star Wars. The idea has always been one of science fiction in the eyes of the average person. Scientists have viewed the idea differently, theorizing that it would be possible to create a faster than light spacecraft, but the energy requirements would make it unpractical. Now, that thinking is beginning to change.
It was once believed that it would take a mass of energy the size of Jupiter to power a theoretical warp drive. New calculations reveal that it may be possible with an energy mass the size of a normal spacecraft. If true, the discovery is a game changer, and the stars may be within our grasp in the coming decades.
NASA is working on experiments to test out theories pertaining to the warp drive. A warp drive system would work by bending space time around the spacecraft. The spacecraft itself would exist in a sort of bubble of normal space time. NASA scientists at the Johnson Space Center are trying to create microscopic warp bubbles.
A warp drive would not just change space travel, but human society as a whole. Faster than light travel would mean travel among the planets would be a breeze. The entire solar system would become our playground. While most of the planets are inhospitable for life, they contain valuable resources that could be used on earth. This is going to be a big issue in the future as our civilization uses up more and more of Earth’s natural resources.
Space travel is ultimately going to be important for the survival of our species. Our planet faces several long term problems, such as comets and asteroids, supernovas and gamma ray bursts, and the eventual death of the sun. At some point in the future we may have to evacuate the planet. With our current level of technology that is simply not feasible.
This is an exciting time in the world of science. Between these experiments and the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, it seems major breakthroughs are being made at a break neck pace. There is no telling what tomorrow may bring.