Imagine a propulsion system without propellant. It likely is impossible since it sounds impossible.
One NASA engineer continues to test theories regarding the EmDrive, a hypothetical “helical” engine that may defy the rules of physics and generate thrust without fuel.
This innovation would allow humans to go to the farthest regions of space and would perhaps be the century’s most exciting technological development.
What exactly is EmDrive?
Roger Shawyer, a British scientist, suggested in 2001 that thrust may be generated by pumping microwaves into a conical chamber.
Theoretically, according to Shawyer, the microwaves would bounce exponentially off the chamber walls, producing enough thrust to propel a spacecraft without fuel.
Some researchers claim that thrust has been generated in EmDrive trials. However, the amount was so small that opponents believe the thrust may have been created by other factors. These could be earthquake waves or the magnetic field of the Earth.
Several engineers and scientists have expressed opposing views on the EmDrive in recent months.
Some have asserted that it is impossible, while others continue to work on what may be a fruitless endeavor, claiming that the payback would be immense.
The most recent is NASA engineer David Burns, according to New Scientist.
“The engine itself would be able to get to 99 percent the speed of light if you had enough time and power,” Burns told New Scientist.
Article from Interesting Engineering