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posted by cmn32480 on Monday December 26 2016, @05:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the proof-is-in-the-pudding dept.

A Chinese newspaper and other sources are reporting that China is already testing an EmDrive thruster in space, aboard the Tiangong-2 space station:

[Researchers] in China have announced that they've already been testing the controversial drive in low-Earth orbit, and they're looking into using the EM Drive to power their satellites as soon as possible.

Big disclaimer here - all we have to go on right now is a press conference announcement [archive.is] and an article from a government-sponsored Chinese newspaper (and the country doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trustworthy research).

[...] But what the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) team is saying also corresponds with information provided to IB Times from an anonymous source. According to their informant, China already has an EM Drive on board its version of the International Space Station, the space laboratory Tiangong-2.

[Continues...]

It had been recently suggested that the U.S. is testing an EmDrive aboard the X-37B spaceplane:

In November 2016 the International Business Times claimed the U.S. government was testing a version of the EmDrive on the Boeing X-37B and that the Chinese government has made plans to incorporate the EmDrive on its orbital space laboratory Tiangong-2. In 2009 an EmDrive technology transfer contract with Boeing was undertaken via a State Department TAA and a UK export licence, approved by the UK MOD. The appropriate US government agencies including DARPA, USAF and NSSO were aware of the contract. However, prior to flight, the propulsion experiment aboard the X-37B was officially announced as a test of a Hall-effect thruster built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Some are already envisioning probes that could reach far beyond the Kuiper belt (thousands of astronomical units) in around a decade. This would allow the exploration of trans-Neptunian objects such as Sedna (around 86 AU from the Sun, with an estimated aphelion of 936 AU) and the hypothetical Planet Nine (estimated to be between 200 and 1,200 AU away).

We must not allow an EmDrive gap.

Also at redOrbit, and Chinatopix, which notes that previous Chinese EmDrive tests have resulted in false positives and that the EmDrive was not publicly listed among the items brought aboard the Tiangong-2 in October.

Previously: EmDrive Peer-Reviewed Paper Coming in December; Theseus Planning a Cannae Thruster Cubesat
It's Official: NASA's Peer-Reviewed EmDrive Paper Has Finally Been Published


Original Submission

Related Stories

EmDrive Peer-Reviewed Paper Coming in December; Theseus Planning a Cannae Thruster Cubesat 46 comments

Multiple sources have reported that a paper about EmDrive has cleared peer review and will be published in December, although there is no certainty yet about whether NASA scientists have found evidence to support thrust apparently in violation of the law of conservation of momentum (and not within experimental error):

Long thought to be nothing more than a space dream, the EmDrive, a rocket propulsion technology that requires no propellant, has cleared peer review, the International Business Times reports. The new engine, first proposed 17 years ago, relies on microwaves for its thrust, which are fired into a metal cone, causing acceleration. The latest design, which will be published in the Journal of Propulsion, was the brainchild of scientists at NASA's experimental lab, Eagleworks Laboratories.

Also at Inverse.

Meanwhile, a company formed by Cannae Inc. has announced that it will launch a similar propulsion device into space to prove that it works:

On August 17, Cannae announced plans to launch its thruster on a 6U cubesat. Each unit is a 10-centimeter cube, so a 6U satellite is the size of a small shoebox. Approximately one quarter of this will be taken up by the drive. Fetta intends the satellite to stay on station for at least six months, rather than the six weeks that would be typical for a satellite this size at a altitude of 150 miles. The longer it stays in orbit, the more the satellite will show that it must be producing thrust without propellant.

Cannae has formed a company called Theseus with industrial partners LAI International of Tempe, AZ and SpaceQuest Ltd. of Fairfax, VA to launch the satellite. No launch date has yet been announced, but 2017 seems likely. "Once demonstrated on orbit, Theseus will offer our thruster platforms to the satellite marketplace," says the optimistic conclusion on their website.


Original Submission

Breaking News: China Launched its Second "Heavenly Palace" Thursday Morning [Updated] 17 comments

China is scheduled to launch a space station into orbit in less than an hour. According to Ars Technica:

China will take its next step toward a large space station on Thursday, when it intends to launch the Tiangong-2 laboratory into orbit. The 8.5-ton, 10.4-meter-long facility will launch from the Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi Desert, aboard a Long March 2-F rocket. The launch is set for 10:04am ET (14:04pm UTC) Thursday, and live video is available.

This space station, "Heavenly Palace 2," will be China's second after it launched the similarly sized Tiangong-1 laboratory in 2011. Following this week's launch, China plans to send two taikonauts to Tiangong-2 in four to six weeks aboard a Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. They will live there for about a month, testing out the lab's life support systems and performing scientific research. According to China's official news service, Xinhua, those experiments will involve areas of medicine, physics, and biology, as well as quantum key transmission, space atomic clock, and solar storm research.

China has plans within the next decade to send up an even larger space station. This, on top of plans to establish a moon colony, as well.

Also at Spaceflight Now.

[Update] The launch was a success — coverage at: phys.org and Nature.


Original Submission

It's Official: NASA's Peer-Reviewed EmDrive Paper Has Finally Been Published 133 comments

After months of speculation and leaked documents, NASA's long-awaited EM Drive paper has finally been peer-reviewed and published [open, DOI: 10.2514/1.B36120] [DX]. And it shows that the 'impossible' propulsion system really does appear to work. The NASA Eagleworks Laboratory team even put forward a hypothesis for how the EM Drive could produce thrust – something that seems impossible according to our current understanding of the laws of physics.

In case you've missed the hype, the EM Drive, or Electromagnetic Drive, is a propulsion system first proposed by British inventor Roger Shawyer back in 1999. Instead of using heavy, inefficient rocket fuel, it bounces microwaves back and forth inside a cone-shaped metal cavity to generate thrust. According to Shawyer's calculations, the EM Drive could be so efficient that it could power us to Mars in just 70 days.

takyon: Some have previously dismissed EmDrive as a photon rocket. This is addressed in the paper along with other possible sources of error:

The eighth [error:] photon rocket force, RF leakage from test article generating a net force due to photon emission. The performance of a photon rocket is several orders of magnitude lower than the observed thrust. Further, as noted in the above discussion on RF interaction, all leaking fields are managed closely to result in a high quality RF resonance system. This is not a viable source of the observed thrust.

[...] The 1.2  mN/kW performance parameter is over two orders of magnitude higher than other forms of "zero-propellant" propulsion, such as light sails, laser propulsion, and photon rockets having thrust-to-power levels in the 3.33–6.67  μN/kW (or 0.0033–0.0067  mN/kW) range.

Previously: NASA Validates "Impossible" Space Drive's Thrust
"Reactionless" Thruster Tested Again, This Time in a Vacuum
Explanation may be on the way for the "Impossible" EmDrive
Finnish Physicist Says EmDrive Device Does Have an Exhaust
EmDrive Peer-Reviewed Paper Coming in December; Theseus Planning a Cannae Thruster Cubesat


Original Submission

China's First Cargo Spacecraft Docks With the Tiangong 2 Space Station; US Govt Rejoice (NOT) 22 comments

The Guardian reports on the Tianzhou-1's, China's first automated cargo spacecraft, first mission to the station:

China's first cargo spacecraft docked successfully with the Tiangong-2 space lab on Saturday, the official Xinhua news agency reported, marking a major step towards Beijing's goal of establishing a permanently manned space station by 2022. ...

The Tianzhou-1 cargo resupply spacecraft made the automated docking process with the orbiting space lab after it had taken off on Thursday evening from the Wenchang satellite launch centre in the southern island province of Hainan....

The cargo spacecraft mission provides an "important technological basis" to build a Chinese space station, state media have said. It can reportedly carry six tonnes of goods, two tonnes of fuel and can fly unmanned for three months.

Seems like Cold War era again:

President Xi Jinping has prioritised advancing China's space programme to strengthen national security.,,,

The US Defense Department has highlighted China's increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations from using space-based assets in a crisis.

China insists it has only peaceful ambitions in space, but has tested anti-satellite missiles.

2007 - Chinese anti-satellite missile test
1985 - American anti-satellite missile test
Chinese exclusion policy of NASA

Related: China Launched its Second "Heavenly Palace" Thursday Morning [Updated]
China's Shenzhou 11 Docks at Tiangong 2 Space Station
Space Race 2.0: China May Already be Testing an EmDrive in Orbit


Original Submission

EmDrive 3.0: Wait, Where's EmDrive 2.0? 38 comments

The man behind the disputed thruster technology EmDrive has published a presentation detailing the third generation of the device. Roger Shawyer envisions EmDrive 3.0 enabling personal flying vehicles and a "space elevator without cables":

[Although] the second generation of the EmDrive can theoretically produce 3 tonnes of thrust for 1 kilowatt of power, it isn't able to move very far, so it is only useful for marine applications or for diverting asteroids, like in the new CBS sci-fi TV drama Salvation.

Shawyer has long said that his aim for inventing the EmDrive was to help get satellites into space cheaply, to enable more applications and new ways for the human race to combat global warming and the energy crisis. Essentially, the EmDrive needs to be able to move and work as well as a conventional rocket, in order to be a viable solution.

To negate these shortfalls, Shawyer's firm Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR) has also been researching a third generation of the EmDrive, which solved the acceleration problem by reducing the specific thrust.

So instead of getting 3 tonnes of thrust for every kilowatt, substantially less thrust is produced – but it can be used to accelerate the device (more about this theory can be read in a paper Shawyer presented in Beijing in 2013).

Speaking of that TV show, Roger would like some credit please.

Related UK patent application. Also at Next Big Future.

Previously: Finnish Physicist Says EmDrive Device Does Have an Exhaust
It's Official: NASA's Peer-Reviewed EmDrive Paper Has Finally Been Published
Space Race 2.0: China May Already be Testing an EmDrive in Orbit
Physicist Uses "Quantised Inertia" to Explain Both EmDrive and Galaxy Rotation


Original Submission

Physicist Uses "Quantised Inertia" to Explain Both EmDrive and Galaxy Rotation 23 comments

A physicist is using a theory he advanced to explain how EmDrive could work to explain how dwarf galaxies can be held together without the requirement of dark matter:

British physicist Dr Mike McCulloch, who previously used quantised inertia to explain how the controversial electromagnetic space propulsion technology EmDrive works, says that he has new evidence showing his theory can also explain galaxy rotation, which is one of physics' biggest mysteries. McCulloch, a lecturer in geomatics at Plymouth University's school of marine science and engineering, says he now has even more evidence that his "new physics theory" about quantised inertia works, and that it makes it possible to explain why galaxies are not ripped apart without using theory of dark matter.

[...] There are 20 dwarf galaxies in existence from Segue-1 (the smallest) to Canes Venatici-1 (the largest), and dark matter is only meant to work by spreading out across a wide distance, but it is still used to explain dwarf galaxies, even though this requires dark matter to be concentrated within these systems, which is implausible. Instead, McCulloch asserts that quantised inertia can be used to explain how galaxies rotate without using dark matter, and he has written a paper that has been accepted by the bi-monthly peer reviewed journal Astrophysics and Space Science.

Reprint of the IBT link here.

From the abstract of Low-acceleration dwarf galaxies as tests of quantised inertia (DOI not yet published):

Dwarf satellite galaxies of the Milky Way appear to be gravitationally bound, but their stars' orbital motion seems too fast to allow this given their visible mass. This is akin to the larger-scale galaxy rotation problem. In this paper, a modification of inertia called quantised inertia or MiHsC (Modied inertia due to a Hubble-scale Casimir effect) which correctly predicts larger galaxy rotations without dark matter is tested on eleven dwarf satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, for which mass and velocity data are available. Quantised inertia slightly outperforms MoND (Modied Newtonian Dynamics) in predicting the velocity dispersion of these systems, and has the fundamental advantage over MoND that it does not need an adjustable parameter.

Previously: Study Casts Doubt on Cosmic Acceleration and Dark Energy
Dark Matter Beats its Latest Challenge
Emergent Gravity and the Dark Universe
Space Race 2.0: China May Already be Testing an EmDrive in Orbit
Milky Way is Not Only Being Pulled—It's Also "Pushed" by a Void


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by stretch611 on Monday December 26 2016, @06:09AM

    by stretch611 (6199) on Monday December 26 2016, @06:09AM (#445981)

    and the country doesn't have the best track record when it comes to trustworthy research.

    True, but China does have a history of stealing IP from other countries... including US defense contractors, so it would not be surprising if they stole research and are trying to capitalize on it.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @07:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @07:56AM (#445996)

      Testing others' inventions is not typically considered an IP violation by itself.

      I'm glad somebody is actually testing it in space. This gizmo would completely change space exploration if it actually works.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:32PM (#446110)

        Except, you don't need to test it in space ...... seriously, understand the science behind it first, then tune it then use it. You don't get to skip the first parts.

        • (Score: 2) by PinkyGigglebrain on Monday December 26 2016, @11:11PM

          by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Monday December 26 2016, @11:11PM (#446188)
          History is filled with times when a technology was used before it was full understood. Gunpowder and nuclear energy come to mind, no one understood chemistry of gunpowder when it was in wide spread use and we started building and using fission reactors long before we fully understood the science needed to use it safely, remember all those cracks in the cooling pipes of early reactors? no one knew that high neutron fluxes caused metal to become brittle.

          But I think the biggest reason for China testing the EMDrive in space is very simple; it is a PR victory. Right now the best Russia can do is launch rockets designed a decade ago to a space station from the same era and the USA can't even get a person into orbit on their own anymore. So how will it look to the rest of the world when China sends off a probe to Mars or somewhere that uses technology that will let them get it there in weeks/months instead of months/years while the other "World Powers" can't even get back to LEO with any consistency?
          --
          "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @02:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @02:27PM (#446072)

      The inventor of the drive has said in multiple interviews over the past few years that the Chinese have been testing for over a decade now.
      He gave them (sold, I would imagine) the details willingly in the late 90s/early2000s. No stealing necessary.

  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:18AM (#445984)

    Haha, you shit-colored brown-coats thought there would be an Anglo-Sino Alliance! No fucking way. Kneel before your Chinese overlords!!

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by anubi on Monday December 26 2016, @06:30AM

    by anubi (2828) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 26 2016, @06:30AM (#445985)

    A little offtopic - but another take on propulsion which does not involve ejecting mass in order to get a force ( F=MA ).

    I got into a discussion a few months ago with a friend over whether the Cook Inertial Propulsion system [rexresearch.com]
    would work.

    He believes in it. I do not.

    He says he can feel the centrifugal force when he slings something. I say he feels an equal and opposite ( force*time ) accelerating and decelerating the mass, and the loop integral must always be zero. Play with a paddle ball all you want, but until the rubber band breaks, you are not going to get any net delta velocity.

    I was hoping the following analogy would be convincing, but failed. Consider the path of the mass being handled that provides the inertia. At some point in time, the mass will be somewhere along that path. Now replace the pathway with a pipe of the same curvature - and pump water ( a continuous mass ) along the circuit. Does the whole shebang do anything but make noise and get hot?

    As far as I am concerned, what I have seen looks similar in function to those old motor-driven bed vibrators - and all it can possibly do is rock, rattle, and roll. It won't go until it slings itself apart.

    Now, this way of doing it with microwaves within a resonant chamber puzzles me. None of the physics I know support it. One thing I do not know is if there is a magnetic field that permeates space in the same manner we have a localized magnetic field covering this entire planet. I believe if there is such a thing, magnetic propulsion will work - as the spaceship becomes the rotor in a galactic sized stator. However there seem to be a lot of illusions that will play out like a Bedini motor - which is yet another thing I have had heated discussions over, as I fail to see where that particular setup to get work out without putting work in can possibly function.

    --
    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by mhajicek on Monday December 26 2016, @08:00AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday December 26 2016, @08:00AM (#445998)

      Inertial swimming is a thing, but only works in a gravity well:

      http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/46180/can-a-deformable-object-swim-in-curved-space-time [stackexchange.com]

    • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Monday December 26 2016, @10:55AM

      by fritsd (4586) on Monday December 26 2016, @10:55AM (#446028) Journal

      I am not a physicist, but I think you're talking about the old-fashioned Æther theory [wikipedia.org].

      I first read about it as a boy in the fantastic "Suske en Wiske" cartoon "De Wolkeneters [wikipedia.org]" (# 53), where professor Barabas makes a rocket that flies according to this principle. I've always loved Science Fiction (most of the other hundreds Suske and Wiskes are not sci-fi, but a few are really good! Dunno if they've all been translated into English. Nurture your inner child, read a Suske en Wiske [wikipedia.org] today! Here endeth the slashvertisement.).

      What I do know about magnetic fields is that they are always dipoles [wikipedia.org], and that means that the field strength as a function of distance doesn't go as one over r squared, but instead as one over r^3 [wikipedia.org].
      That is why you need a lot of strength to pull two mini candy bar sized Neodymium magnets apart, but they won't have a large effect at distance.

      I think you might find this page interesting: Michelson-Morley experiment [wikipedia.org].

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @11:26AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @11:26AM (#446036)

      there are two options.
      either what they call "EM-drive" is something completely different from what they think, in the sense of new physics, or it's pure shit.
      if nothing comes of it in another couple of years, it means it's shit.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday December 26 2016, @01:06PM

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday December 26 2016, @01:06PM (#446058) Journal

        EmDrive must be tickling something inside of you, because you're willing to give it two more years!

        --
        [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:45PM (#446112)

          there is now a peer reviewed paper where they detail an experiment where a force is measured, even though i don't expect a force to be there.
          i'm pretty sure others will try to replicate this within 2 years, and apparently it's not hard to scale it up, so they should also do that.
          If the results are real, then it is an unexplained phenomenon.
          I don't have the time to figure out if the people claiming these results are trustworthy or not, and i don't know enough about quantum field theory to try to figure out whether this may be real.
          i am willing to bet my PhD that, if the effect is real, there is definitely more than Maxwell's equations behind it.

          hence my waiting for confirmation from the mainstream, or at least some hovering black box that is being sold by these people, with them claiming trade secrets, hence no explanation.

          • (Score: 1) by anubi on Tuesday December 27 2016, @08:08AM

            by anubi (2828) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 27 2016, @08:08AM (#446267)

            This is the same logic conundrum I run into trying to prove or disprove Rossi's E-Cat.

            Personally, I think he's running a very profitable theater for men of the suit and tie to throw money into. The stuff I have seen so far ( The videos he sent to Steven Krivet of New Energy Times ) to me demonstrated nothing more than a fantastically expensive tea kettle which probably made bad tea.

            However, I remain unconvinced that cold fusion is impossible. I do not think he is on the right track, but neither do I have a PhD, nor do I think monied people give much of a damn about any insight I may have either.

            --
            "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @02:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @02:18PM (#446070)

      > Now replace the pathway with a pipe of the same curvature - and pump water ( a continuous mass ) along the circuit. Does the whole shebang do anything but make noise and get hot?

      From watching coiled hoses, the loop will also try to straighten out (uncoil).

      • (Score: 1) by anubi on Tuesday December 27 2016, @08:29AM

        by anubi (2828) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 27 2016, @08:29AM (#446273)

        That it will ( uncoil ). Noted especially in something like a fire hose.

        Now imagine you are in a boat, along with, say, 25 feet of hose, a water pump, and a power source. The pump is connected to pump water through the hose back to the pump inlet. You cannot cut the hose, but you are allowed to form the loop in any geometry you want. What you now have is a mass of water moving in a loop of any geometry of your choosing. You may change the diameter of the hose ( velocity of the mass ) or the geometry of the hose on the fly if you want to. What you cannot have is a leak in or out of the hose. That is you have to use the same water over and over again. You cannot intake or eject any. Can you propel the boat in this manner?

        ( Yeh, I know, the easy way would be to cut the hose, place the suction end at the bow, the outlet end at the stern - and you will go. That concept is already in use to propel boats through swampland. )

        --
        "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:20PM (#446090)

      Bogus, bogus, bogus.

      I don't fully understand his proposed device from reading that page, but the justification for how it works is bogus. He invokes a helicopter traveling at constant speed, and notes the difference in kinetic energy of the advancing and retreating blades, obviously without noting the dependence on reference frame.

      If you can't be bothered to explain its operation either in terms of momentum (which is conveniently linear and well-behaved for this sort of problem), or to point out why you chose a weird and difficult to compute reference frame instead of the obvious and convenient one, that's a bit of a red flag. When you actively contrast two identical cases, differing only in choice of reference frame, and pretend they represent a difference in physics rather than a difference in perspective, you've gone full-on perpetual-motion nutter.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by butthurt on Monday December 26 2016, @07:03PM

      by butthurt (6141) on Monday December 26 2016, @07:03PM (#446117) Journal

      One thing I do not know is if there is a magnetic field that permeates space in the same manner we have a localized magnetic field covering this entire planet.

      According to another commenter, Tiangong-2 orbits at an altitude of 238 miles (384 km).

      /breakingnews/comments.pl?sid=15530&cid=402278 [soylentnews.org]

      I don't have data on it, but the Earth's magnetic field will be of similar strength there to what it is at the surface. Satellites sometimes include magnets that provide attitude control by interacting with Earth's magnetic field.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetorquer [wikipedia.org]
      http://staff.ee.sun.ac.za/whsteyn/Papers/Magsat.pdf [sun.ac.za]

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday December 26 2016, @12:31PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Monday December 26 2016, @12:31PM (#446047) Journal

    Roger Shawyer is just being used as a tool to legitimize stolen UFO technology without requiring disclosure of the alien intelligence who built it.

    Donald Trump will launch a spinning EmDrive satellite to use as a relativistic kill vehicle. It will deorbit and wipe out nearly all life on the continent of choice.

    --
    [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:27PM (#446095)

      Indeed. Just like, as once claimed on Coast to Coast AM, the gummint handed Ken Olsen the plans for the PDP-1, which they had reverse-engineered from the Roswell crash.

      That's right, those fantastically advanced aliens flew across interstellar gulfs to arrive at Earth thanks to the amazing computing power of the PDP-1.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27 2016, @02:20AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27 2016, @02:20AM (#446219)

        Don't let them know the secret of the IBM-5100!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @06:13PM (#446108)

      t will deorbit and wipe out nearly all life on the continent of choice

      Good! We need 7 of those.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @03:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @03:04PM (#446077)

    Its not like they developed this, its well known how to build this and its not that complex. They want to get a jump on everyone else. I can buy that.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by jmorris on Monday December 26 2016, @03:40PM

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <{jmorris} {at} {beau.org}> on Monday December 26 2016, @03:40PM (#446083)

    I just care that somebody IS trying it. Enough talk, time to find out if this is a waste of time or the beginning of a new age of exploration.

    If China gets results it isn't like they would be able to keep it secret very long. If it works they would want to use it and once you do it is pretty obvious that the latest probe you launched is doing things no traditional reaction thruster can. Everybody's space agencies have the basic plans for this thing, many have been testing prototypes. Confirm it works and the billions of dollars in R&D needed to figure out WHY it works will happen along with optimizing the effect to get more thrust per watt.

    While the inventor is blue sky promising effects powerful enough for use here on Earth, this thing would be revolutionary even if it never came close to being able to lift its own weight in 1G. IF it works at all.

    So yea China if they had the initiative to stick one on their station and find out. Which they are better suited to do anyway, the article was being overly generous comparing the Chinese station to ISS, it is a tiny little thing closer to Skylab or MIR. I saw recently where somebody ran the numbers and it wasn't clear that in the current form we could have tested on ISS because the effect wouldn't have been big enough to easily see on a big thing like it, maybe the small size of Tiangong-2 will be a feature, not a bug.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @04:22PM (#446092)

      I just care that somebody IS trying it.

      Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that the Chinese are in fact testing an EmDrive. The bad news is that they plan on using it in this [soylentnews.org] once they've got it running.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @07:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 26 2016, @07:07PM (#446118)

        What can't crowd-funding do?