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posted by janrinok on Friday August 01 2014, @08:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the it-shouldn't-work-but-does dept.

This story from a Wired article: NASA is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.

British scientist Roger Shawyer has been trying to interest people in his EmDrive for some years through his company SPR Ltd. Shawyer claims the EmDrive converts electric power into thrust, without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container. He has built a number of demonstration systems, but critics reject his relativity-based theory and insist that, according to the law of conservation of momentum, it cannot work.

NASA states... "Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma"

 
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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Saturday August 02 2014, @01:40AM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 02 2014, @01:40AM (#76606)

    What I wonder is why something like this hasn't been validated, or at least tested, on the ISS?

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Saturday August 02 2014, @07:03AM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Saturday August 02 2014, @07:03AM (#76669)

    sorry if this is a dup, I had to leave in a rush and may have forgotten to hit submit before closing my browser last time.

    the per kilo cost of putting something into orbit is so high that they would want to really be sure it was worth sending a prototype to the ISS.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."