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Chinese researchers claim they've confirmed the theory behind an "impossible" space drive, and are proceeding to build a demonstration version. If they're right, this might transform the economics of satellites, open up new possibilities for space exploration –- and give the Chinese a decisive military advantage in space.
To say that the "Emdrive" (short for "electromagnetic drive") concept is controversial would be an understatement. According to Roger Shawyer, the British scientist who developed the concept, the drive converts electrical energy into thrust via microwaves, without violating any laws of physics. Many researchers believe otherwise. An article about the Emdrive in New Scientist magazine drew a massive volley of criticism. Scientists not only argued that Shawyer's work was blatantly impossible, and hat his reasoning was flawed. They also said the article should never have been published.
With that pedigree, you'd imagine Shawyer would be someone the space industry would have listened to. Far from it. While at Astrium, Shawyer proposed that the company develop his idea. "I was told in no uncertain terms to drop it," he says. "This came from the very top."
So why the problem? Shawyer argues that for companies investing billions in rockets and launch sites, a new technology that leads to fewer launches and longer-lasting satellites has little commercial appeal. By the same token, a company that offers more for less usually wins in the end, so Shawyer's idea may have been seen as too speculative. Whatever the reason, in 2000, he resigned to go it alone.
To review the project, the UK government hired John Spiller, an independent space engineer. He was impressed. He says the thruster's design is practical and could be adapted fairly easily to operate in space. He points out, though, that the drive needs to be developed further and tested by an independent group with its own equipment. "It certainly needs to be flown experimentally," he says.
Shawyer's calculations have not convinced everyone. Depending on who you talk to Shawyer is either a genius or a purveyor of snake oil. David Jefferies, a microwave engineer at the University of Surrey in the UK, is adamant that there is an error in Shawyer's thinking. "It's a load of bloody rubbish," he says. At the other end of the scale is Stepan Lucyszyn, a microwave engineer at Imperial College London. "I think it's outstanding science," he says. Marc Millis, the engineer behind NASA's programme to assess revolutionary propulsion technology accepts that the net forces inside the cavity will be unequal, but as for the thrust it generates, he wants to see the hard evidence before making a judgement.
Originally posted by round_eyed_dog
Chinese Say They're Building 'Impossible' Space Drive
...Scientists not only argued that Shawyer's work was blatantly impossible, and hat his reasoning was flawed. They also said the article should never have been published. ...
They also said the article should never have been published.
I hope they're right just so we can all stick this in the skeptics' pipe and make them smoke it.
Originally posted by john124
Hang on a minute, which sceptics say this is impossible?
Originally posted by Titus7
You had something happen to you, a girlfriend cheating, fake or fair weather friends, or even real friends that then turned on you, or maybe a problem in the family or divorce, and it BROKE your trust and your faith.
Now you search for a place to belong.
In short: This machine does not do what it says it does. It's a new spin on an old con.
Originally posted by bsbray11
I wonder, do you say this because it's why YOU post here?
You sound like you are so sure of yourself that you are speaking from personal experience. I have learned an immense number of things I would never have otherwise known from ATS. And I'm not just talking about the OP. I'm talking about any of the information you'll see here that MSM doesn't bother to tell you, or that you never learn in history class. And when I come across information somewhere else that I never knew, I'll often bring it back here and share.
It took an awful lot of irrelevant ranting just to get to your point, didn't it?
I'm not in a hurry to prove this to anybody, because this guy already went out of his way to pitch this to companies here and they all thought the same thing you're thinking: it doesn't work because someone else would have done it by now.
If it actually works, you can bet your ass the Chinese will be manufacturing it.
You remember all the rocket technology advances the Nazis made during WW2? They were able to launch missiles from Germany and hit targets in England for the first time in history, and a lot of other breakthroughs. Case in point. They were learning from American rocket scientists who had been laughed out of the states. And after WW2, the US gov ended up bringing them back and studying what the Nazis had learned from them. Just goes to show you what a closed mind can accomplish. Put your pride away and take a chance. Because your pride is the only thing that "hurts" when you're wrong about something like this.
In a country with over a billion people, and with their peculiar history, I would imagine their humbleness and humility are amongst their most defining characteristics. It certainly shows through better there than it seems to here in the West.
[edit on 16-11-2009 by bsbray11]
Originally posted by spellbound
reply to post by round_eyed_dog
If China succeeds, take cover everyone.
Remember - China is a country that does not care about its citizens, and does not care about mankind.
China is a huge threat and I believe that China will be instrumental in the end of our world - they will perish as well, which is a bit pointless.