An American scientist said that even if it was technically possible for people to travel at warp speed through space, they'd be destroyed by thin hydrogen atoms.

space ship from Wiki CommonsWilliam Edelstein of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine presented a paper to the American Physical Society that said that astronauts would have to travel at 99.999998 percent of the speed of light and at these speeds hydrogen atoms would deliver seven teraelectron volts.

He said: "As spaceship velocities approach the speed of light, interstellar hydrogen, although only present on average at a density of about two atoms per cm3, impinges on the spacecraft and turns into intense radiation and destroy instrumentation."

That, thinks Edelstein,  would wipe out the crew of the starship in sconds - they'd be battered by radiation even if the hull of the vessel was 10 centimetres thick.

As we don't have the technology to build starships yet, the proposition is all rather academic. And if we did have the technology to build starships, then perhaps we'd have the tech to avoid the hydrogen beam too.

So it's all still science fiction, really.