IXS Enterprise NASA images
- An Alcubierre drive is theoretically capable of warp speeds, but the travel time to our nearest neighbor is still two weeks. Any "faster-than-light" craft will need to be big enough to have room for staff and supplies to survive out beyond the edge of our solar system.
- Rademaker's images imagine the ship during its construction. His design is shown to be modular, with space for four pods on the side of the ship that could house living quarters, supplies, or — in keeping with the ship's name — a holodeck.
- The number of sponsors suggests NASA is expecting the commercial space travel sector to keep growing. Squint at the bottom right of the nameplate and you might see a familiar logo: Weyland-Yutani, the nefarious fictional megacorporation from the Alien movies.
- The body of the IXS Enterprise is suspended inside two large rings, a design decision that means the craft can sit safely inside the warp bubble generated by its Alcubierre drive. A good thing, too: any appendages that jutted outside would be subjected to unimaginable effects as the ship distorted space-time.
- The concept of a warp drive-enabled spaceship is still fanciful at this point in human development, but Rademaker's images blend elements of real-world tech with sci-fi suggestion. The Enterprise's side solar panels look like they've been borrowed from the International Space Station.