Engineers are working on ways to make spaceflight faster and cheaper, in an effort to open the cosmos to exploration.
Credit: NASA/Glenn Research Center
Good news for all you EmDrive enthusiasts: A new study suggesting that the seemingly impossible space engine may actually work has passed the peer-review process.
The study — which was led by physicist Harold "Sonny" White, of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston — found that an EmDrive design generated small amounts of thrust in the lab. These results were leaked online recently, and now the paper has been published, in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' Journal of Propulsion and Power.
Development of the EmDrive was begun by British scientist Roger Shawyer about 15 years ago. The engine works by bouncing microwaves around inside a chamber; it requires no propellant and could therefore usher in a new era of superfast and efficient spaceflight, advocates say.