NASA’s long-awaited paper on the near mythical EM Drive has been published online. Leaked documents pertaining to the experiment surfaced earlier this year, generating an enormous amount of hype. The EM Drive is controversial because it violates Newton’s Third Law of Motion, attempting to generate thrust without producing an equal and opposite reaction.
The EM Drive bounces microwaves back and forth within a metal cavity, replacing the need for rocket fuel. The powerful engine could get reduce travel time to Mars to just 70 days, as well as facilitating solar power and airplanes fueled on hydrogen. It has been described by it’s inventor Roger Shawyer as “green and convenient” and is set to “change our world in the next few decades”.
According to the paper: “Thrust data from forward, reverse, and null suggested that the system was consistently performing at 1.2 ± 0.1 mN/kW, which was very close to the average impulsive performance measured in air. A number of error sources were considered and discussed.”
It is a great success for the EM Drive and the next step is for it to be tested in space.