NASA scientists, including physicist, Harold “Sonny” White, have been experimenting with the idea of warp drive at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. At the Starship Congress in Dallas, TX, White told the crowd that NASA is designing a spacecraft that could enable warp drive. However, don’t pack your bags and enroll in Starfleet just yet. These design concepts are being created on a smaller scale using a light-measuring device.
Essentially, the spacecraft would look like a football surrounded by two large circles. These two circles would be used to contract space-time in front of the spacecraft and expand space-time behind it. How would these rings be able to manipulate time and space? White believes the answer may be in quantum-thrusters.
Similar to the way a submarine manipulates the water around it to propel itself, a warp-drive enabled spacecraft would do the same in space-time, except it would be able to move faster than the speed of light. Essentially, the quantum-thrusters would generate what is known as negative vacuum energy to cause quantum-level ripples in space-time allowing the spacecraft to thrust forward. So simple!
Therefore, according to White’s ideas, the spacecraft never moves faster than the speed of light, but it is the space-time that surrounds the spacecraft that would allow it to go into warp speed. White hopes to incorporate quantum-thruster technology as NASA continues its design experiments with a warp drive.
However, this may not be the first time our universe has encountered something moving faster than the speed of light. (Besides Superman, of course.)
According to Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, “In the early epoch of the universe, there was a very short period known as inflation. We believe that during that inflationary period, space-time itself expanded at many times the speed of light, so there are tantalizing questions when you look at nature as a teacher. Is this something that can be duplicated around the vicinity of a spacecraft?”
If you ask White, the answer is undoubtedly yes.
Source: Yahoo News