Jack Milner and Ellie Zolfagharifard — Daily Mail July 28, 2015
A controversial design for a new, advanced type of space travel received a boost as German scientists confirmed that it does in fact work.
The EMDrive propulsion system would permit travel at speeds until now only seen in science fiction.
When the concept was first proposed it was considered impossible because it went against the laws of physics.
But subsequent tests – further backed up by this announcement – have shown that the idea could revolutionise space travel.
Researchers say the new drive could carry passengers and their equipment to the moon in as little as four hours.
A trip to Alpha Centauri, which would take tens of thousands of years to reach right now, could be reached in just 100 years.
The system is based on electromagnetic drive, or EMDrive, which converts electrical energy into thrust without the need for rocket fuel.
Martin Tajmar, professor and chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology, presented his work at the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum in Orlando yesterday.
The website Hacked obtained a copy of Tajmar’s Propulsion and Energy Forum paper.
‘Our measurements reveal thrusts as expected from previous claims after carefully studying thermal and electromagnetic interferences,’ wrote Tajmar in the paper, according to the website.
‘If true, this could certainly revolutionise space travel.’
While there has been some scepticism surrounding the EMDrive, in April Nasa released results of their own test which showed that the EMDrive did in fact create thrust.
‘Thrust measurements of the EMDrive defy classical physics’ expectations that such a closed (microwave) cavity should be unusable for space propulsion because of the law of conservation of momentum,’ announced NasaSpaceFlight.com in April
The site has become an unofficial source of EMDrive news, with Nasa engineers reportedly posting on its forum.
The announcement will add momentum to developing a working EMDrive, as Tajmar is considered an ideal candidate to test the controversial system due to his ‘well-equipped lab and a strong background in tracking experimental error,’ according to Wired.
Tajmar wrote: ‘Additional tests need to be carried out to study the magnetic interaction of the power feeding lines used for the liquid metal contacts.’
‘Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena.
‘Next steps include better magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EMDrive models with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal operation.’
According to classical physics, the EMDrive should be impossible because it seems to violate the law of conservation of momentum.
The law states that the momentum of a system is constant if there are no external forces acting on the system – which is why propellant is required in traditional rockets.
Researchers from the US, UK and China have demonstrated EMDrives over the past few decades, but their results have been controversial as no one has been exactly sure how it works.
But earlier this year, Nasa built an EMDrive that works in conditions like those in space, according to users on forum NasaSpaceFlight.com.
A number of those discussing the plan on the technical forum claim to be Nasa engineers who are involved in the project.