Thursday, July 30, 2015

'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

A view of the Earth from the Moon
The Em Drive could allow humans to travel to the Moon in just four hours Photo: NASA

Interplanetary travel could be a step closer after scientists confirmed that an electromagnetic propulsion drive, which is fast enough to get to the Moon in four hours, actually works.
The EM Drive was developed by the British inventor Roger Shawyer nearly 15 years ago but was ridiculed at the time as being scientifically impossible.

It produces thrust by using solar power to generate multiple microwaves that move back and forth in an enclosed chamber. This means that until something fails or wears down, theoretically the engine could keep running forever without the need for rocket fuel.

The drive, which has been likened to Star Trek’s Impulse Drive, has left scientists scratching their heads because it defies one of the fundamental concepts of physics – the conservation of momentum – which states that if something is propelled forward, something must be pushed in the opposite direction. So the forces inside the chamber should cancel each other out.

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