NASA Looking to EmDrive to Revolutionize Space Travel

NASANASA is looking to revolutionize space travel with a newly-developed space drive named EmDrive. The drive was conceptualized by a British engineer named Robert Shaywer, who was criticized and ridiculed by British scientists for his idea. He built demonstration thrusters proving the science was solid, and ensured the test results were accurate by accounting for variables such as friction and electromagnetic effects. His first test in 2003 clearly demonstrated that the ideawas workable.

Chinese scientists have now built and tested this space drive, despite the worldwide scientific community’s disdain due to the fact that the system defies Newtonian physics. However, the Chinese researchers tested the drive successfully and NASA took notice. The Chinese team at Northwestern Polytechnic University, headed by Yang Juan, Professor of Propulsion Theory and Engineering of Aeronautics and Astronautics, collaborated with Shaywer. Their team authored a study called Net Thrust Measurement of Propellantless Microwave Thruster and created the EmDrive with 720 micro-Newtons of thrust and a few kilowatts of power.

The EmDrive works as a closed container that, when filled with resonating microwaves, produces a net thrust that was initially thought to violate the Newtonian law of conservation and momentum that states that no closed system can create a net thrust. NASA is looking to the EmDrive as a way to revolutionize space travel because it is a highly efficient, propellant-less propulsion system that could potentially be used in deep-space missions.

Space drives rely on Isaac Newton’s laws of motion which dictate that even with limitless power from solar cells, the thrust required to propel a spacecraft is limited to the supply of its propellant. There have been numerous attempts to overcome this requirement, including NASA experiments with anti-gravity and spinning superconductors in the 1990s. All of these trials failed and they became a source of ridicule in the scientific world.

This radically new space drive is supported by Einstein’s theory of relativity through the principle of group velocity, in which a mere pulse of light can have a group velocity faster than the speed of light. Boeing’s Phantom Works, which has been involved in classified projects in space research, acquired and tested the EmDrive, but no longer collaborates with Shaywer.

Yang and the Chinese team took a cautious approach, in 2008 creating a new analysis with quantum theory. This analysis supported Shaywer’s theory, and in 2010 the Chinese team effectively calculated the amount of thrust that could be produced. The 720 micro-Newtons of thrust would be sufficient to propel a satellite.

NASA then tested the viability of a microwave thruster similar to EmDrive. After eight days of work the NASA scientists generated 30-50 micro-Newtons of thrust, and verified that the force had not been generated by anything outside the test system. The paper written on the study stated that the force generating the thrust defies any classical electromagnetic phenomena and is potentially reacting with quantum vacuum plasma. This infers that the thrust is coming from pushing against a cloud of particles and anti-particles that are produced and then disappear again. NASA is playing it smart by looking into the EmDrive to revolutionize space travel, a concept that could potentially be the future of spaceflight.

By Adrianne Hill


Daily Tech
IFL Science

17 Responses to "NASA Looking to EmDrive to Revolutionize Space Travel"

  1. Lili Philipps   March 13, 2019 at 11:21 am

    A further issue is that video games usually are serious in nature with the most important focus on knowing things rather than enjoyment. Although, it comes with an entertainment aspect to keep children engaged, every single game is frequently designed to work on a specific group of skills or programs, such as mathematics or scientific research. Thanks for your article.

  2. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray   April 6, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Maybe it’s not Rocket Science? Balloons give lift without generating downward thrust, and no-one claims that balloons violate physics- so this drive might do something similar. When looking at them, perhaps we should be thinking ‘cone-shaped balloons’, not ‘rocket thrusters’.

  3. John Newell   November 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Thankyou for this article. Please see for one notion of how it can work.

  4. nealjking   August 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Maciej Marosz:

    – Your theory of operation violates the principles of special relativity, and is wrong.
    – The experiment to detect the effect of the motion of the earth on light has been done many timees, with a precision that greatly exceeds any measurement you could make with your iPhone camera. The failure to detect any such effect was a principal reason that the theory of relativity was accepted so readily. Please read about the famous Michelson & Morley experiment.

  5. Maciej Marosz   August 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    All we can explain and we c
    an use Si units

    You can repeat my experiment in home ( very cheap )

  6. Hubert Schilder   August 8, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Radar is not the same, It is about a radio frequency (RF) resonant cavity.
    I think it should easely be validated or disproved.
    That they even wouldnt try it out because they could not believe it that it could be working….. If it does.. check out


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