Space travel at warp speed? The Seattle Times

NASA scientists are developing a new ion-propulsion system that could enable spacecraft to reach unheard-of speeds and undertake long-term explorations of planets in the outer solar system. Dubbed “Herakles,” the system would use an ion beam produced from xenon gas to propel the craft to speeds of 200,000 mph, 10 times faster than the top speed of the space shuttle.