01 May 2015

A revolutionary new space engine technology with the potential to make a trip to Mars in 10 weeks has been in the works by NASA the concept has been tested again.  The last series of tests were done months ago and this time they have used a vacuum to test how it might behave in space.
Testing inside the vacuum allowed NASA to rule out the potential that the thrust was being created by heat transfer from the outside, rather than from within the drive.  The engine is supposed to work by generating force from the bouncing of electromagnetic waves inside a chamber, with some of that energy being transferred to a reflector to generate thrust.  They insist that there is not a violation of the conservation of momentum.  To measure the thrust, scientists used a Torsion Pendulum as seen in the setup picture below.

 

NASA will continue to focus on how the thrust is actually happening and further tests through NASA's Eagleworks lab will be done in the vacuum.  If the drive actually works it would help reduce the weight of what NASA launches into space and could be used on the International Space Station, which has to rely on continual boosts from visiting vehicles.  Of course such an engine could be used for trips to he Moon (in as little as four hours instead of three days), Mars and beyond.  The Mars mission would be something in the range of a 2 MegaWatt Nuclear Electric Propulsion spacecraft that is equipped with an EM Drive (with a thrust/power input of 0.4 Newtons/kw).  To achieve this efficiency, however, it may take 50 years to develop the technology assuming the EM Drive works as expected.

 

Source:  Nasaspaceflight


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