Good news space fans. The once thought impossible space engine may actually be possible. This has the potential to completely revolutionize space travel. Long range space missions could become a reality with this new propulsion system.
What is the propulsion system? A new study out by NASA shows that a microwave thruster system could be possible. No propellant is needed to generate thrust, and if it works, space travel would be quicker and cheaper.
The system would harness subatomic particles that pop in and out of existence with quantum physics. Who wouldn’t want to be on this ship that could explore our solar system and beyond?
Researchers spoke on their study via a statement. “Test results indicate that the RF [radio frequency] resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and, therefore, is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.”
The study was presented at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland last week.
A background of the technology goes back to researcher Roger Shawyer. He claimed his ‘EmDrive’ could power a spaceship by rocketing microwaves around in a chamber. Solar power would be used to produce the microwaves, which would negate the need for any propellant. Scientists downplayed his claim then, arguing it violated the law of conservation of momentum.
In the new test, NASA said the device, built by Guido Fetta, generated 30 to 50 micronewtons of thrust. Not exactly blowing it out of the park with speed, but NASA said it warranted further study.
Ok, so not exactly hitting warp speed anytime soon, but the test proved that the once thought ‘impossible engine’ is clearly in the realm of reality. With further studies and test, we could be on the cusp of next generation space travel.