This is a memo, for public release, updated today 5-24-15 from NASA. It is reproduced here in its entirety and with the following link.
It is most interesting in what it allows for. As to FTL drives, NASA’s position is apparently, the equivalent of don’t count anything out. Even theories labeled, “absurd.”
March 10, 2015
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Is Warp Drive Real?
Ever since the sound barrier was broken, people have turned their attention to how we can break the light speed barrier. But “Warp Drive” or any other term for faster-than-light travel still remains at the level of speculation.
The bulk of scientific knowledge concludes that it’s impossible, especially when considering Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. There are certainly some credible concepts in scientific literature, however it’s too soon to know if they are viable.
Science fiction writers have given us many images of interstellar travel, but traveling at the speed of light is simply imaginary at present.
In the meantime, science moves forward. And while NASA is not pursuing interstellar flight, scientists here continue to advance ion propulsion for missions to deep space and beyond using solar electric power. This form of propulsion is the fastest and most efficient to date.
There are many “absurd” theories that have become reality over the years of scientific research. But for the near future, warp drive remains a dream.
If you would like to know more about the theories of interstellar flight, you should visit the Tau Zero Foundation. Marc Millis, a former NASA Glenn physicist, founded the organization to consider revolutionary advancements in propulsion.
Past articles of warp drive found at this location have been archived.
Last Updated: May 23, 2015
Editor: NASA Administrator