The EmDrive, a reactionless engine that turns electricity into thrust and which is better known for violating Newton’s Third Law of Motion, appears to work at least as far as NASA is concerned. The problem isn't getting the engine to work: it's explaining why it does.
As detailed in the paper, a team of NASA physicists led by Harold “Sonny” White and Paul March—both leading figures in exotic propulsion systems—was able to generate thrust in a “tapered RF test article” (read: EmDrive prototype) during a series of tests at NASA’s Eagleworks Labs at Johnson Space Center in the fall of 2015.
In essence, the NASA EmDrive in the paper consists of a closed copper cone, the inside of which is being bombarded with microwaves. To test the EmDrive, the researchers powered it with 40, 60, and 80 watts and found that it generated up to 58, 128, and 119 micronewtons of thrust, respectively. Given that this “anomaly” was still observed by White and his colleagues after accounting for error, this suggests that the results of the experiment show an EmDrive is indeed possible.
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