Next Big Future introduces us to the Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion system, an electrically powered engine that, if functional, would mean the ability to "maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants." NASA's phase 1 effort will focus on improving current devices, design power and electrical systems, and building a reliable model of the device. Additional information here.
If the Woodward effect is confirmed and if an engine can be designed to use applied Mach effects, then a spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants. Woodward presented a paper about the concept at the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program Workshop conference in 1997 and continued to publish on this subject thereafter.
Even ignoring for the moment the impact on interstellar travel, future spacecraft driven by impulse engines based on Mach effects would represent an astounding breakthrough in terms of interplanetary spaceflight alone, enabling the rapid colonization of the entire solar system. Travel times being limited only by the specific power of the available power supplies and the acceleration human physiology can endure, they would allow crews to reach any moon or planet in our solar system in less than three weeks. For example, a typical one-way trip at an acceleration of 1 g from the Earth to the Moon would last only about 4 hours; to Mars, 2 to 5 days; to the asteroid belt, 5 to 6 days; and to Jupiter, 6 to 7 days.
|"Warp drives could become a real technology within the lifetimes of today’s toddlers."|
|How the Most Massive Black Hole in the Universe Came to Be|
|A Brief Explanation of What the Universe Is|
|What Replacing the Moon With Other Celestial Bodies Would Look Like (via @kottke)|
|“Humanity is most likely the only intelligent species in the Milky Way Galaxy at present.”|
|“Self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|“A driverless electric truck began daily freight deliveries on a public road.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“A deep fake sex video emerges in a Google search of your name.”|
|“You can often hide from an AI video system with the aid of a simple color printout.”|
|“A new camera that looks ahead, so you can keep looking down.”|
|Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes|