Thanks to a NASA physicist, the notion of warp speed might just travel out of sci-fi and into the real world.
NASA’s Harold White has been working since 2010 to develop a warp drive that will allow spacecraft to travel at speeds faster than light — 186,000 miles per second.
White, who heads NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Team, spoke about his conceptual starship at a conference last fall. But interest in his project reached a new level this week when he unveiled images of what the craft might look like.
Created by artist Mark Rademaker, who based them on White’s designs, the images show a technologically detailed spacecraft that wouldn’t look out of place in a “Star Trek” movie. Rademaker says creating them took more than 1,600 hours.
At the SpaceVision 2013 Space Conference last November in Phoenix, White talked about his design, the concepts behind it and the progress that’s been made in warp-drive development over the decades. He discussed the idea of a “space warp,” a loophole in the theory of general relativity that would allow for massive distances to be traveled very quickly, reducing travel times from thousands of years to days.
In his speech, White described space warps as faraway galaxies that can bend light around them. They work on the principle of bending space both in front of and behind a spacecraft. This would essentially allow for the empty space behind the craft to expand, both pushing and pulling it forward at the same time. The concept is similar to that of an escalator or moving walkway.
"There’s no speed limit on the expansion and contraction of space," White said at the conference. “You can actually find a way to get around what I like to call the 11th commandment: Thou shall not exceed the speed of light.”
Indian governor pushes for inquiry into teenage gang rape
BBC News: The governor of a northern Indian state where two teenage cousins were gang raped and hanged has recommended a federal inquiry into the incident.
Three suspected attackers have been detained, along with two policemen accused of dereliction of duty and criminal conspiracy. The girls were found hanged from a tree in Badaun district earlier in the week.
Photo: Villagers and policemen gather near the spot where the two teenage cousins were found hanging in India. (EPA via NBCNews.com)
On this day in 1819, the American poet Walt Whitman was born in Long Island, NY. Among his great works is the poem “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer” read to you here by the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, our very own Neil deGrasse Tyson with images from the new Space Show Dark Universe.
The Airbus Defence and Space agency has released images taken by both Pleiades satellites that show final stages of construction or renovation of all 12 stadiums to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in Brazil. The high resolution images were taken between 2012 and 2014 and are available for download here.
From top to bottom, Brasília’s Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha, Natal’s Arena das Dunas and Arena Pernambuco, in Recife.
Long Haired Hare | 1949 | dir. Chuck Jones