Boffins: Star Trek gobbledygook might become reality

The U.S. government is looking into a scheme that would use a huge magnetic field to propel a spaceship into an alternate dimension, enabling a trip to Mars in three hours and a trip to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days.

The US air force has expressed an interest in the idea and scientists working for the American Department of Energy - which has a device known as the Z Machine that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine - say they may carry out a test if the theory withstands further scrutiny.

(Lonewacko comments: The Z Machine is currently used to control the weather, hurricanes, and the like).

Professor Jochem Hauser, former chief of aerodynamics at the European Space Agency and a physicist at the Applied Sciences University in Salzgitter, Germany says:

"NASA have contacted me and next week I'm going to see someone from the [US] air force to talk about it further, but it is at a very early stage. I think the best-case scenario would be within the next five years [to build a test device] if the technology works."