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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: 2, Disagree) by snick on Friday May 01 2015, @09:14PM

    by snick (1408) on Friday May 01 2015, @09:14PM (#177618)

    All true. But we are talking about a drive with properties which most self-respecting scientists laugh out of the room.
    As long as you are getting laughed out of the room, why not go big? Perpetual motion ... time travel ... match all the socks in your laundry basket. (yeah, I know, that last one is't plausible)

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Friday May 01 2015, @09:31PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 01 2015, @09:31PM (#177627) Journal
    The thing is, if it were possible to get more energy out of a system than you put in, then how come the universe is still here? People tend to forget that the universe explores a lot of these paths just by random chance and any significant energy gain is going to dump into the environment from those processes.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01 2015, @10:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 01 2015, @10:19PM (#177646)

      That phenomenon could be manifesting itself as dark energy.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by tangomargarine on Friday May 01 2015, @10:30PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 01 2015, @10:30PM (#177651)

      "And of course there's the time Rodney blew up a solar system."
      "Quit exaggerating! It was only four-fifths of the system. And it was an accident."

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"