White and his team call themselves and their project Advanced Propulsion Team Lead. And they're now beginning to put their ideas on paper.
White has recruited Mark Rademaker, an artist, to render their far-out concepts tangible, at least in the two-dimensional sense. Accordingly, Rademaker has produced a series of drawings of what a NASA spacecraft capable of warp speed might look like.
The product looks a lot like the starship Enterprise -- the vehicle Spock, James T. Kirk and their fellow Star Trek colleagues used to explore strange new worlds. Rademaker's drawings are available at his Flickr gallery.
And while it all sounds rather fantastical, White and his fellow scientists at NASA aren't joking.
They believe it's possible to manipulate space to travel long distances in a very short amount of time. Their hypothetical craft would not actually travel faster than light, however.
"A spheroid object would be placed between two regions of space-time," the scientists explain. These objects would create a sort of worm hole or warp bubble, which move space-time around the object, repositioning it and allowing the craft to shortcut its way through space.
Using such tactics, White surmises a spacecraft could travel to nearby stars in just a couple weeks.
Now, the scientists just have until 2063 to make it all a reality.
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