NASA and Star Trek have mind-melded and the end result of that magnificent decision will come to light in about one hundred years from now with the announcement from the space agency that it will be building its first deep space, long range human inhabited spaceship. And, you are going to love the name it will be christened with.
Dubbed the IXS Enterprise, this leap into the final frontier will be an undertaking never before seen in human history. Scientists and engineers at today’s Johnson Space Center are busy developing the first real-life Enterprise with warp capability. The concept art out of NASA is nothing short of phenomenal.
The team is being led by NASA physicist Harold White who will be totally responsible for the creation of a propulsion system that will hurl the IXS Enterprise into space at speeds faster-than-light. And, keeping true to Gene Roddenberry’s original vision the ship will not use its warp capability while still within the Sol system (that should also keep Einstein happy).
White’s work on new propulsion drives began in early 2012 and the concept art from Mark Rademaker for what the ship will likely look like were released this week to the general public. While the drive system is currently based on the 1994 ground-breaking work of physicist Miguel Alcubierre its name will likely be termed “Warp Drive” as an homage to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.
Rademaker’s concept for the ship takes a little from Roddenberry’s world in its design, however, it functionality is based on pure science and practical space travel and what would be needed to sustain a crew spending possibly years in the cosmos.
A hundred years may seem like a long time but in the fabric of space-time, it is a mere blink of the eye. Check out some of these great images from Rademaker’s concept art for the future real-life Enterprise.