Star Trek or Real Life NASA Tech?

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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Fans of the Star Trek franchise might remember a neon blue warp-speed effect. In a case of life imitating art, NASA is developing a cutting-edge solar-electric propulsion thruster that – you guessed it – burns blue!

In this dramatic image from NASA’s website – featured as Michelle’s “Click Pick” Tuesday, May 28th on WHNT News 19 This Morning – science geeks can see the engine burning brightly. It uses xenon ions for propulsion. It’s currently in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

According to NASA, the technology “is being considered as part of the Asteroid Initiative, a proposal to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system where astronauts can visit and explore it.”