Not long ago I read that NASA will work on a new engine that can get to the nearest constellation in 2 weeks. Is this a fake or is it possible?

Not long ago I read that NASA will work on a new engine that can get to the nearest constellation in 2 weeks. Is this a fake or is it possible?

Where should we colonize first? 7.23

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answers (2)

Answer 1
July, 2021

This is not entirely accurate information. You (or wherever you read it) write that "NASA will take on a new engine." So, to be precise, not NASA, and they will not do it, but have already done it.

There is a physicist engineer, Harold White, who really works at NASA. He leads a research group there. This research group is working on all sorts of options for creating all kinds of things, like the Alcubierre engine. But this research team of his at NASA is, in fact, the same basement as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully had in the FBI. They also threw off all sorts of similar cases and they "dealt" with them. So it cannot be said that NASA is seriously engaged in this, but such studies are really underway. But there is nothing fantastic in this.

We are talking about the Alcubierre engine (in the common people the Warp engine), which works on the principle of the Alcubierre bubble, the possibility of which is predicted and is consistent with the equation of the gravitational field in Einstein's general theory of relativity. An engine like this does not push the ship through space, but shrinks the space in front of the ship and expands it behind the ship. As a result, the ship stays in place and the space moves. Thus, the ship can travel faster than the speed of light (tens and hundreds of times faster than the speed of light).

Here is a group led by White trying to investigate the possibility of doing something like this. And a few years ago, they created an interferometer that can capture spatial disturbances that can be used as a driving force. But these experiments bring them closer to the creation of the Alcubierre engine by about the same as launching a firecracker brought us closer to landing on the moon. In other words, there is no talk of a flight to Alpha Centauri yet.

So, answering your question, this is not a fake, this is really possible, but so far only on paper, and most media reports are strong embellished. In addition, there were reports about this two years ago :)

P.S.

You've probably heard about the recent detection of gravitational waves. This is all from the same opera. The gravitational wave also distorts space-time. And she was also found using an interferometer. And this also brought us a little closer to the creation of the Warp Drive. How this influenced White's development I do not know.

Answer 2
July, 2021

This is fake for many reasons. It is difficult to say what exactly you read and what exactly you thought of, but there are two points in the existing wording that do not allow what was written to be true even remotely.

  1. The closest star, Proxima Centauri, is about 4 light years away. This means that, even moving at the speed of light, the hypothetical ship will reach the nearest known star in 4 years, no less. But in fact, more, because halfway it will accelerate, and halfway it will slow down (if we do not want to just pass the star at high speed, but stop and look at it). And, of course, for a material object with mass, it is impossible to even reach the speed of light due to the relativistic growth of the rest mass. Thus, the nearest star can be reached in 4 years or more, but not less.

  2. "Constellation" is not some kind of material object to which, even theoretically, you can fly. A star is an object, and a constellation, in the form in which we observe it from the earth, is a projection of different stars onto the "celestial sphere", as a rule, the stars of the constellations are not even approximately close. That is, "to fly to the constellation" is an expression devoid of physical meaning.

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