Warp speed? Slowing down could be a real killer
Planning a little space travel to see some friends on Kepler 22b? Thinking of trying out your newly-installed FTL3000 Alcubierre Warp Drive to get you there in no time? Better not make it a surprise visit — your arrival may end up disintegrating anyone there when you show up.
“Warp” technology and faster-than-light (FTL) space travel has been a staple of science fiction for decades. The distances in space are just so vast, and planetary systems — even within a single galaxy — are spaced so far apart, that such a concept is needed to make casual human exploration feasible. The concept also caters to the comforts of people’s imagination: Nobody wants to think about Kirk and Spock bravely going to some alien planet while everyone they’ve ever known dies of old age!\
While many factors involving FTL travel are purely theoretical — and may remain in the realm of imagination for a very long time, perhaps forever — there are some concepts that play well with currently-accepted physics.
The Alcubierre warp drive is one of those concepts.