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 A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test

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A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test Vide
PostSubject: A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test   A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test Icon_minitimeThu Jun 06, 2019 6:45 pm

Since the birth of the space age, the dream of catching a ride to another solar system has been hobbled by the “tyranny of the rocket equation,” which sets hard limits on the speed and size of the spacecraft we sling into the cosmos. Even with today’s most powerful rocket engines, scientists estimate it would take 50,000 years to reach our closest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. If humans ever hope to see an alien sunrise, transit times will have to drop significantly.
Of the advanced propulsion concepts that could theoretically pull that off, few have generated as much excitement—and controversy—as the EmDrive. First described nearly two decades ago, the EmDrive works by converting electricity into microwaves and channeling this electromagnetic radiation through a conical chamber. In theory, the microwaves can exert force against the walls of the chamber to produce enough thrust to propel a spacecraft once it’s in space. At this point, however, the EmDrive exists only as a laboratory prototype, and it’s still unclear whether it’s able to produce thrust at all. If it does, the forces it generates aren’t strong enough to be registered by the naked eye, much less propel a spacecraft.
Over the past few years, however, a handful of research teams, including one from NASA, claim to have successfully produced thrust with an EmDrive. If true, it would amount to one of the biggest breakthroughs in the history of space exploration. The problem is that the thrust observed in these experiments is so small that it’s hard to tell if it’s real.

A Mythical Form of Space Propulsion Finally Gets a Real Test Science_emdrive_637797356

https://www.wired.com/story/a-mythical-form-of-space-propulsion-finally-gets-a-real-test/
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