"Let me take you on a little trip … we're gonna travel faster than light," the Kinks sang 42 years ago. Well, maybe this was the warp ship they were dreaming of.
Howard White (who we can confirm was a NASA employee as late as 2013) has a vision for a warp-drive ship that he's been working on for a few years. White, whose biography describes him as the advanced propulsion theme lead for NASA's engineering directorate, recently released his new vision of the spaceship in collaboration with artist Mark Rademaker. The result is gorgeous. More pictures below the jump.
As for how realistic his concept is, as non-physicists it's tough for us to evaluate. Essentially, White is proposing some modifications to this warp drive concept by Miguel Alcubierre, which would create a zone of warped space time in front of and behind the spaceship to get it to move quickly. But White has been making the professional and media circuit in recent years touting his theories, and they are getting attention.
For more information on White's theories, check out this research paper on NASA's Technical Reports Server and this 2012 story in io9, where he was interviewed and explained his thinking back then. Also view the video below the pictures.
Explore further: Warp drives may come with a killer downside