Bad News Scotty: Star Trek-Style 'Warp Drive'
Systems Could Turn Spacecraft Into Death Stars Which Destroy Planets
make the dreams of a million Star
Trek fans come true by designing a spacecraft capable of
travelling faster than the speed of light, it would be pretty frustrating
to discover such a ship would obliterate any planet it landed on.
But that is
exactly what NASA researchers suspect could happen after new analysis
revealed a flaw in designs for a so-called 'warp drive' the theoretical
technology that would propel spaceships to speeds faster than light
could cause catastrophic explosions the moment intrepid space
explorers reached their destination.
at the Space Agency have been researching the possibility of a spaceship
that could achieve warp speed travel via a real-life warp drive,
the fantasy version of which is familiar to fans of Star Trek
and other sci-fi shows.
on the laws of relativity have allowed warp speed in theory; but
the energy required to make it happen would require the energy-mass
of a planet the size of Jupiter.
studying the model for a warp drive proposed by the Mexican physicist
Miguel Alcubierre concluded its power requirements were not as impossible
as once believed.
But new research
from the University of Sydney has suggested that, while the warp
drive could work, disengaging the system at the end of a journey
could prove extremely problematic.
design features a ship made of a central pod surrounded by a large,
flat ring scientists are yet to establish what matter this ring
would be made of, as it would need to be capable of bending the
very fabric of the universe.
they claim that, with enough energy, space and time can be bent
to allow the spacecraft to travel through 'loops' in space.
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