An Alcubierre warp drive bubble, showing spatial compression ahead of the bubble, and spatial expansion behind (Image: NASA)
NASA's White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer can detect the warping of space in the 1 cm experimental volume of a part in ten million (Image: NASA)
A positive signature of space warping in the WFI (Image: NASA)
Schematic illustration of the warp bubble symmetry problem (Image: NASA)
The warp drive broke away from being a wholly fictional concept in 1994 (Image: Shutterstock)
The first steps towards interstellar travel have been taken, but the stars are very far away. Voyager 1 is about 17 light-hours distant from Earth and is traveling with a velocity of 0.006 percent of light speed, meaning it will take about 17,000 years to travel one light-year. Fortunately, the elusive "warp drive" now appears to be evolving past difficulties with new theoretical advances and a NASA test rig under development to measure artificially generated warping of space-time.
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