The EmDrive, a spacecraft propulsion system which works by using "microwave technology to convert electrical energy directly into thrust," appears to actually work, according to NASA. If the results are confirmed, this would be "a major breakthrough in space propulsion."
According to good scientific practice, an independent third party needed to replicate Shawyer's results. As Wired.co.uk reported, this happened last year when a Chinese team built its own EmDrive and confirmed that it produced 720 mN (about 72 grams) of thrust, enough for a practical satellite thruster. Such a thruster could be powered by solar electricity, eliminating the need for the supply of propellant that occupies up to half the launch mass of many satellites. The Chinese work attracted little attention; it seems that nobody in the West believed in it.
However, a US scientist, Guido Fetta, has built his own propellant-less microwave thruster, and managed to persuade Nasa to test it out. The test results were presented on July 30 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Astonishingly enough, they are positive.
|Black Holes Explained|
|A Diamond the Size of Earth, Floating in Space|
|"We're Going to Mars by 2024."|
|"Venus actually has a tremendous amount to tell us about life in the universe."|
|"Astronomers may be looking for alien life in all the wrong places."|
|“Tesla's Model S has outsold traditional high-end models from established European brands.”|
|“A modern trade route between Asia and Europe is under construction.”|
|The 24 Carrot Cake|
|“How do you communicate wirelessly with WiFi using only plastic?”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“There are over a billion people who have no access to energy what-so-ever.”|
|"A cuckoo making an appearance every millennium."|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“What happens when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?"|
|“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars.”|