The EmDrive is causing a new set of controversies after NASA recently released a study which states that the impossible might actually work and be a breakthrough.
The new study was conducted by the NASA Eagleworks Laboratories and has been accepted, though it still raises questions, in the scientific community.
However, the community is still reluctant to confirm the result although it does not contest the researchers’ methodology.
The study was led by NASA astrophysicists Paul March and Harold “Sonny” White and was published in the Journal of Propulsion and Power last week.
The research was published under the name “Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio-Frequency Cavity in Vacuum.”
The EmDrive is a highly controversial propulsion method because it lacks one important element, which is the reaction.
As quite many others have tried building such reactionless thrusters, their results gave way to just as many degrees of functionality.
The main argument used when opposing the EmDrive is Newton’s Third Law. According to it, every action must have a reaction.
But NASA’s study and the reaction-less motor seem to contradict this. The latest research showed that a closed copper chamber that was loaded with microwaves could, in fact, produce thrust.
This in itself seems to defy all our known and accepted laws as no one has yet been able to explain the phenomenon.
The current NASA model is not the only such device as Roger Shawyer, a British researcher, produced an earlier version of an EmDrive.
Shawyer produced the device back in 2001 and argued at the time that even in the absence of a propellant, thrust could be generated.
He stated that such a reaction could be obtained with the use of solar power which would lead to the production of trapped microwaves.
An American scientist by the name of Guido Fetta made his own device, which is now known as “Cannae Drive”. Fetta convinced the aforementioned NASA team to test his device.
As the scientists agreed, tests were carried out over an eight days period back in August 2013. The Eagleworks Lab, which is viewed as a fringe science group, maintain to have produced a small thrust.
According to the team’s declarations, the device tends to heat up when in operation. Theoretically, this could mean that the such warmed surrounding air could lead to the small amount of thrust.
In trying to demonstrate and validate the testing methods and measures, the team also executed a vacuum test.
The device is reported to have worked and produced the same effects even throughout the vacuum tests.
In theory, for the EmDrive to work, it would need only electric power. But its current thrust of 1.2 +/- 0.1 millinewtons kilowatt/power is very small.
The value cannot be placed in the same category with the powerful ion drives which are used to power most NASA satellites, although they require fuel.
Although the methodology of the testing is unquestionable, the scientific community still cannot accept the results as one of the main issues still stands.
The EmDrive has still not been proven to be functional.
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