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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 PinkyGigglebrain on Saturday August 02 2014, @02:42AM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Saturday August 02 2014, @02:42AM (#76626)

    The NASA design is different from the device used in the China tests. The difference in measured thrust might be because NASA did a better job accounting for all the factors and the device really does only generate such a tiny amount of thrust, or NASA's device might not have been as evolved and the Chinese device really did generate the greater thrust.

    Either way three different independent groups have found something and currently no one can say exactly what.

    What was considered impossible just 60 years ago is no commonplace, its all about advancing technology and our understanding of how nature works. This might just be a flash in the pan or it might be the key to a new understanding of the Universe.

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