Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

The 'impossible' EM Drive is to be tested in space

RATE THIS! +28
Posted in Science on 7th Sep, 2016 09:11 PM by AlexMuller

An actual EM Drive is about to be launched into space for the first time, so scientists can finally figure out - once and for all - if it really is possible for a rocket engine to generate thrust without any kind of exhaust or propellant. Built by American inventor and chemical engineer, Guido Fetta, the EM Drive is as controversial as it gets:

 

While certain experiments have suggested that such an engine could work, it also goes against one of the most fundamental laws of physics we have.

 
As Newton's Third Law states, "To each action there's an equal and opposite reaction," and many physicists say the EM Drive categorically violates that law.
 
This is because in order for a thruster to gain momentum in a certain direction, it has to expel some kind of propellent or exhaust in the opposite direction. 
 
But the EM Drive simply goes in one direction with no propellant, and thus violates the law of conservation of momentum, which Newton derived from his Third Law.
 
And not only that, but it could produce enough thrust to blast humans to Mars in just 70 days.
 
As Fiona MacDonald put it back in June, space enthusiasts love to get excited about the EM Drive, because if it works, it has the potential to remove major barriers in our need to explore the Solar System and beyond. 
 
But just as many are sick of hearing about it, because, on paper at least, it doesn't work within the laws of physics.
 
Invented by British scientist Roger Shawyer back in 1999, the EM Drive - short for electromagnetic propulsion drive - purportedly works like this. 
 
It uses electromagnetic waves as 'fuel', creating thrust by bouncing microwave photons back and forth inside a cone-shaped closed metal cavity. This causes the 'pointy end' of the EM Drive to accelerate in the opposite direction that the drive is going.
 
"To put it simply, electricity converts into microwaves within the cavity that push against the inside of the device, causing the thruster to accelerate in the opposite direction," 
 
Since its invention, the EM drive has shown no signs of quitting, in test after test. Last year, trials by NASA scientists at the Eagleworks lab revealed "anomalous thrust signals", and an independent researcher in Germany conceded that the propulsion system, somehow, does indeed produce thrust.
 
Fast-forward to now, and there are rumours that the NASA Eagleworks paper we reported on in June has finally passed the peer-review process, and is expected to be published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Journal of Propulsion and Power.
 
If the rumours by José Rodal from MIT are true - and let’s be clear, they’re still just rumours at this point - it could be huge. 
 
As Brendan Hesse explains for Digital Trends:
 
"This is an important step for the EM Drive as it adds legitimacy to the technology and the tests done thus far, opening the door for other groups to replicate the tests. This will also allow other groups to devote more resources to uncovering why and how it works, and how to iterate on the drive to make it a viable form of propulsion. 
 
So, while a single peer-reviewed paper isn’t going to suddenly equip the human race with interplanetary travel, it’s the first step toward eventually realising that possible future."
 
And on top of all of that, we’re about to see an actual EM Drive be blasted into space.
 
Guido Fetta is CEO of Cannae Inc, and the inventor of the Cannae Drive - a rocket engine that's based on Roger Shawyer's original EM Drive design. Last month, he announced that he would launch this thruster on a 6U CubeSat - a type of miniaturised satellite.
 
David Hambling reports for Popular Mechanics that roughly one-quarter of this shoebox-sized satellite will be taken up by the Cannae Drive, and they'll stay in orbit for at least six months: "The longer it stays in orbit, the more the satellite will show that it must be producing thrust without propellant."
 
No launch date has been set just yet, but it could happen in as soon as six months' time.
 
As Hambling points out, Fetta better hurry, because a team of engineers in China, and Shawyer himself, are both also working on their own launchable EM Drives, so someone's going to get there first, and we seriously cannot wait to see what will happen.

Tags: spaceEM driveorbithardwareresearchphysics

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Hardware on 2017-06-28 15:34:15
    Oneweb building Satellite Facility..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-06-28 15:29:06
    Algorithms decode complex thoughts from brain scans..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-06-28 15:23:13
    Hundreds of US mayors endorse switch to 100% renewable.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-06-27 12:49:19
    VR content production: How to take advantage of the VR wave ..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-06-27 12:37:11
    6 Things That Quantum Computers Will Be Incredibly Useful.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me