NASA claims to have discovered what may be the first tentative steps towards being able to travel faster than speed of light. Or what Star Trek fans call ''warp drive''.
The news, which has become a hot topic of discussion in US media, was unveiled on a web forum after NASA engineers discussed the discovery.
NASA is currently working on developing a variant of the rocket engine Emdrive, powered by microwave technology. During the work researchers reported having managed to get energy beams to move faster than the speed of light, by mistake.
When scientists fired energy beams through the motor resonance chamber, they saw that some rays were traveling faster than the speed of light.
An Emdrive and similar engines work by using a magnetron at high power generating microwaves that creates momentum. It has no moving parts and can revolutionize the way vehicles are pushed up and out into space.
According to The Inquisitr, NASA engineers have discussed the discovery in a forum specializing in spaceflight, with experts and people who are very interested in the topic. After the media picked up on the discovery, the discussion has intensified.
Is this the first step towards achieving what the television series Star Trek once called "warp drive"? The answer is maybe.
In Star Trek, spaceships could travel at "warp drive", faster than the speed of light. Since the phenomenon was featured in the TV series, it has been space scientists wet dream.
If NASA manages to establish that they had the beams traveling faster than the speed of light, and they can do it again, they are closer to "warp drive" than ever before.
At the forum, and among experts, physicist Miguel Alcubierres theory of a "warp bubble" also has been discussed. The idea is to place a spaceship inside the warp bubble.
The bubble works by shrinking space-time in front of it, and expand it behind it. It should make the bubble to move (like a surfer on the ocean) faster than the speed of light while the ship is stationary inside. Then, according to Alcubierres theory, the ship will not be destroyed. The theory has never been proven to be feasible, but that may change if NASA's discovery proves correct.
But there are still many unsolved questions, including how the warp bubble could hold its shape when it reaches the speed of light.
NASA in 2012 revealed that they are working to develop a ship that can fly at the speed of light, based on Alcubierres theories.
- Mathematically it is possible to make this possible. The big question is whether we can make it possible in practice, said NASA scientist Harold White, in connection with the disclosure.
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- I think it will get nasty. It will get ugly
On Monday evening it is ready for what many believe will be the most watched TV debate in US history.