Next Big Future introduces us to the Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion system, an electrically powered engine that, if functional, would mean the ability to "maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants." NASA's phase 1 effort will focus on improving current devices, design power and electrical systems, and building a reliable model of the device. Additional information here.
If the Woodward effect is confirmed and if an engine can be designed to use applied Mach effects, then a spacecraft may be possible that could maintain a steady acceleration into and through interstellar space without the need to carry along propellants. Woodward presented a paper about the concept at the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program Workshop conference in 1997 and continued to publish on this subject thereafter.
Even ignoring for the moment the impact on interstellar travel, future spacecraft driven by impulse engines based on Mach effects would represent an astounding breakthrough in terms of interplanetary spaceflight alone, enabling the rapid colonization of the entire solar system. Travel times being limited only by the specific power of the available power supplies and the acceleration human physiology can endure, they would allow crews to reach any moon or planet in our solar system in less than three weeks. For example, a typical one-way trip at an acceleration of 1 g from the Earth to the Moon would last only about 4 hours; to Mars, 2 to 5 days; to the asteroid belt, 5 to 6 days; and to Jupiter, 6 to 7 days.
|"Murchison is already arguably the most happening radio astronomy site in Australia."|
|"Mars should be totally independent from the very start."|
|"We’re just a scant 16 years away from reaching a goal that has eluded every generation that came before us."|
|“These planets are more likely to look like giant eyeballs whose gaze is forever fixed on their host star.”|
|“Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.”|
|Time Lapse of Planet Earth as Seen from the Space Station|
|“A short cut through spacetime allowing for travel over cosmic scale distances in a short period.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“If you fell asleep in 1945 and woke up in 2018 you would not recognize the world around you.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“Reliably bottling up miniature stars, inside complex machines on Earth, demands otherworldly amounts of patience.”|
|Read Advice People Wish They Had at Your Age|
|Timelapse of a Tesla Model 3 Being Made|
|The Racist, Sexist Tendencies of AI|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|Walking Car Concept|