Note: Worthwhile larger version of the above pic HERE.
This is the Enterprise, NASA's concept for a warp-drive spaceship capable of interstellar travel. Interstellar means between stars. So this is a spaceship that could travel between stars. Impressive, but I only need a spaceship that can get me to the surface of the sun and back. "There is no coming back from the sun." *wink* I know.
It's not a fantasy sci-fi ship but a concept based on the equations of Dr. Harold White--lead at NASA's Eagleworks Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory--who also works in ion engines and plasma thrusters.
Dr. White--whose daily life is working in future propulsion solutions for interplanetary travel in the near future, like ion and plasma thrusters--developed new theoretical work that solved the problems of the Alcubierre Drive concept, a theory that allowed faster-than-light travel based on Einstein's field equations in general relativity, developed by theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre.
A spaceship equipped with a warp drive would allow faster-than-light travel by bending the space around it, making distances shorter. At the local level, however, the spaceship wouldn't be moving faster than light. Therefore, warp drive travel doesn't violate the first Einstein commandment: Thou shall not travel faster than light.
The feasibility of building a space-bending warp-drive aside, I don't care how we get out of this solar system to go explore other worlds, just as long as we do it. If you told me you could shoot me out of a cannon to Alpha Centauri I would already have my crash helmet on. The sad fact is, NASA will never receive the funding to build an interstellar spaceship. People don't care enough. NASA would be lucky to receive the funding to build a model OF A MODEL of this spaceship OUT OF POPSICLE STICKS. Now I'm depressed, somebody come cheer me up. "I'll send a clown." Cool, I'll send a thank-you note with anthrax.
Keep going for more shots.
Thanks to maiaolorin, Wilmersama and John A, who already filled out the paperwork to be astronauts on the first interstellar journey but I ripped up their applications so mine will be the only one in the pile when it comes time to pick the crew.