It's hard to believe ... If everything is as Wired writes, a new era is about to open before humanity - the Era of space travel.
EmDrive (abbreviated for "electromagnetic motor") uses electromagnetic microwave cavities to directly convert energy into propulsion without the need for fuel. First proposed by Satellite Propulsion Research, a British research company founded by aerospace engineer Roger Scheuer, the EmDrive concept was expectedly rejected by most of the scientific community as violating the laws of physics, including conservation of momentum.
Nonetheless, NASA Eagleworks, led by Harold White at Johnson Space Center, investigated EmDrive and presented encouraging test results in 2014 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference.
White suggested that the EmDrive thrust is generated by virtual particles in a quantum vacuum that extract "fuel" from the very fabric of spacetime and eliminate the need for fuel. While many scholars have criticized White's theoretical model, others believe he is at least pointing in the right direction.
Scheuer was often rejected by research institutions because he did not have peer-reviewed scientific publications, but White and Taimar have an impeccable track record, so they cannot be turned down out of idle contempt. Physics is an experimental science and the fact that EmDrive works has been verified in the lab. “This is the first time someone with a well-equipped laboratory and a strong background to rule out experimental error is involved, not engineers who can unconsciously wishful thinking, ” Wired writes, citing Taimar's work.
"Our measurements confirm the thrust expected from previous statements, after carefully examining thermal and electromagnetic interference, " the scientists write. "If successful, it could revolutionize space travel."
Contrary to the sensational claims of the press, EmDrive is not a "warp drive" for traveling faster than the speed of light. However, it could, if current experimental evidence is followed, be a revolutionary development for fast and cheap space transport. EmDrive could reach Pluto in less than 18 months, as well as explore the moons of Saturn in just three years.
“A little damage to our physical theories is perfectly acceptable if we get a working space engine, ” experts joke. And it's hard to disagree with this.