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.
|"It’s sort of an astronomical fossil."|
|Live HD Stream from the International Space Station of Planet Earth|
|"We're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade."|
|Giving Mars an Artificial Magnetosphere|
|A Dyson Sphere is Not Practical|
|Fake Name Generator|
|“Are the puppets coming for our jobs?”|
|“Research that could engineer dinosaurs back into existence within the next five to 10 years.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“A man-powered machine that creates scarfs in 5 minutes.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|