NASA has confirmed that a decades old idea for a microwave thruster, actually works.
Once thought to be impossible because it would violate several laws of physics. But NASA now believes that the emdrive is producing a force that interacts with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma. Whew, that’s a mouthful. Anyway, the engine works.
So the thrust produced by the drive isn’t terribly great at the moment, 88 millinewtons, but it is more than the ESA’s SMART-1 ion engine and just slightly less than NASA ion engine in the Dawn spacecraft that produces 90millinewtons. This amount of thrust is about as much as is required for you to push a single sheet of paper upwards.
Also, Dawn carried 400lbs of fuel and was the first spacecraft to move from one orbit to another orbit under its own power.
Because this new engine doesn’t require fuel, it can go for a significantly longer time than current propulsion systems.
Maybe Dawn was the end of an era instead of the beginning of one.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +