It's unlikely that you will ever get beyond the edges of the Earth's atmosphere, but, with the aid of the warp drive, your kids or grandchildren may be able to help spread freedom and democracy to other worlds so that they too may be wonderful bastions of Terran alien policy, free from the tyranny of self-government. http://news.yahoo.co...uster-114310551.html
Warp-drive technology, a form of "faster than light" travel popularized by TV's "Star Trek," could be bolstered by the physics of quantum thrusters — another science-fiction idea made plausible by modern science.
NASA scientists are performing experiments that could help make warp drive a possibility sometime in the future from a lab built for the Apollo program at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
A warp-drive-enabled spacecraft would look like a football with two large rings fully encircling it. The rings would utilize an exotic form of matter to cause space-time to contract in front of and expand behind them. Harold "Sonny" White, a NASA physicist, is experimenting with these concepts on a smaller scale using a light-measuring device in the lab. [Warp Drives and Transporters: How 'Star Trek' Tech Works (Infographic)]
More at the link, and do check out the infographic.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how we'd be like "The Federation". At the moment, it looks like we'd be much more akin to Kirk and Archer's Klingons or the Romulans. My guess is that given the transhumanism going on, we may look more like the Borg by the time warp drives are ready. Where is Q when you need him?