It seems the time has come for the controversial EmDrive to go out in space for testing. A peer-reviewed paper written by scientists at the Institute of Aerospace Engineering located in Dresden, Germany got published in a professional journal should have clear things up a bit. It didn’t succeed since opponents of the EmDrive are now even more convinced that the technology just can’t possibly work.
The main feature of the EmDrive is that it doesn’t use a propellant and that it produces no exhaust whatsoever. Opponents of the technology say that it can’t work, at least according to physics laws. The drive is powered by microwaves that bounce inside a cavity supposedly producing thrust by pushing against one side of the cavity. The problem is that the EmDrive defies Newtonian physics, which states that each force applied must have an equal and opposite reaction.
Nevertheless, multiple labs around the world got results showing that the drive indeed produces a small amount of thrust, even though this should be impossible. The EmDrive, if worked, could drastically shave off the time it takes a spacecraft to reach Mars using current means of propulsion. It could bring humans to Mars in around 70 days; if using current tech, the journey would take around six months.
It’s strange how NASA along with other science facilities got the results showing a small amount of thrust is generated; some theories state that the scientists that conducted the measurements haven’t included the heating, able to produce thermal effects that created thrust. The scientists accepted the challenge, put the engine in a vacuum environment, and it still worked. Still, most scientists are unconvinced. If scientists at NASA want to confirm the results, the drive should go out into space for further testing.
It could be attached to a rocket, and the drive doesn’t have to be that large. The thing could be the size of a shoebox, containing electronics, solar panels for powering it, and the drive itself. A similar technology, called Cannae Drive, was developed by Guido Fetta, an Italian Engineer. He plans to send his drive placed in a small CubeSat (a tiny satellite) to space in a small rocket. If the CubeSat succeeds in maintaining its orbit with no other means of propulsion, it would be the ultimate proof that the EmDrive works. And if the drive works, we could enter a new era of space travel, along with expanding our knowledge about physics.