Tapping Quantum Energy for Space Propulsion - NASA has started a laboratory called Eagleworks which is studying advanced propulsion and using quantum vacuum to power it. The proposed schedule is ambitious, targeting solar system exploration in 50 years time.
To date, the Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster line of research has produced data suggesting very high specific impulse coupled with high specific force. If the physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight (400kW) human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible.
Additionally, the lab is implementing a warp field interferometer that will be able to measure spacetime disturbances down to 150nm. Recent work published by White suggests that it may be possible to engineer spacetime creating conditions similar to what drives the expansion of the cosmos.
Aside from the cheesy name (“Eagleworks” - seriously?) this place may produce some fundamental space propulsion breakthroughs of enormous benefit to human solar system exploration.