A Star Trek “Impulse Drive” Could Open Up the Solar System

As every Star Trek fan knows, the Starship Enterprise had two kinds of propulsion:  faster-than light “warp drive” for interstellar travel, and a so-called “impulse drive” for interplanetary travel.  As explained in the February 2014 issue of Trends, warp drive appears theoretically possible, but very few scientists believe it’s technically feasible.  On the other hand, the impulse drive concept is being explored by researchers, along with other exotic approaches that would permit spacecraft to rapidly traverse the solar system.  What is an impulse drive?  Is it feasible?  What are its implications for space travel in the twenty-first century?  We’ll provide the most up-to-date answers.

This content is for TRENDS SUBSCRIPTION members only.
Login Join Now