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posted by takyon on Friday May 01 2015, @06:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the newtons-per-kilowatt dept.

An article at NasaSpaceFlight.com is claiming that the superficially reactionless EmDrive has again been tested at NASA Eagleworks, this time in hard vacuum, and the anomalous thrust is still being detected:

A group at NASA's Johnson Space Center has successfully tested an electromagnetic (EM) propulsion drive in a vacuum – a major breakthrough for a multi-year international effort comprising several competing research teams. Thrust measurements of the EM Drive defy classical physics' expectations that such a closed (microwave) cavity should be unusable for space propulsion because of the law of conservation of momentum.

With the popular explanations of thermal convection or atmospheric ionization being ruled out by operation in vacuum, and thrust thousands of times greater than expected from a photon rocket, is it time to start taking the EM Drive seriously as a fundamentally new form of propulsion, and possibly a door to new physics?

Roger Shawyer, the inventor of the EmDrive, claims that the device's efficiency will scale even further with greater levels of power, potentially enabling fast interstellar travel powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator or nuclear fission.

Previously: NASA Validates "Impossible" Space Drive's Thrust

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by gnuman on Friday May 01 2015, @09:11PM

    by gnuman (5013) on Friday May 01 2015, @09:11PM (#177616)

    What makes you think that is even a remotely reasonable way to "know for sure?"

    ISS was built for these sort of things.

    1. It has lots of power, check
    2. It is built for experiments, check
    3. It is maned, and so people can adjust it and do various experiments on it while in orbit, check.

    Clearly, first they will test it on Earth to try to figure out how it works. But this drive needs to be tested in space too.

    Anyway, these are very very very exciting news. When no one can readily explain *why* this works or *how*, that means there could be exciting physics here.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 02 2015, @12:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 02 2015, @12:58AM (#177705)

    let the first deployed system be an unmanned satellite that only does a couple of weeks of testing?

    But this drive needs to be tested in space too.

    Thank you for demonstrating which side of the argument is based on paying attention.