AIAA-2001-3654, Jim Corum
Corum presented an experimental paper on the use of the Heaviside force in conjunction with a Slepian Antenna as a form of space drive using nothing more than the classical Maxwell stress tensor. Slepian proposed the same thing in 1949, but came to the conclusion that it would not be useful, since the time average of the resultant AC force would be zero. Corum's contribution has thus far been two-fold: (1) In conjunction with Dr. Alan Barnes of WVU he has experimentally shown that the AC version of the Slepian Resonating Antenna does produce a force, and has measured it to within 3.6%, and (2) has designed a way for Hartley's variable capacitor rectification to be used with the Slepian resonator such that the rectification results in a DC force component. The first experiment has already been achieved, the second experiment is the logical next step. If successful, the result would be quite revolutionary: a true space drive. RESULTS: Experimental - POSITIVE (so far)
Originally posted by Druscilla
reply to post by cookiemonster32
I'm wondering how many billions of $ in space junk we've put in orbit ourselves is floating around, waiting for an enterprising high-tech garbage collector to cash in on all that historical technology, possibly even breathing new life into it.
Additionally, there's the Earth's Lagrange and/or Trojan points that may potentially have some interesting stuff floating around in them like lint in Earth's navel.
Beyond that would come mining on the Moon, which is still a very far dangerous distance away such that USA is still the only nation on the planet to have landed a person on it, regardless of how hard Russia was attempting to do the same.
These are "cheaper" immediate ventures, much closer than way out in the belt, which is a long and lonely distance past Mars where we seem to lose over half if not more of what we send out that way.
The wall they are running up against is fundamental physics. Of course there are projects like CERN's LHC which are advancing that science, but what did the LHC cost to build, 8 billion? The amount NASA was spending in a year would barely cover the electric bill at CERN for a month (maybe it wouldn't).
Assessing research options is challenging when the goals are beyond known physics....
Summary of Research Findings:
The majority of open research paths involve further study of the fundamental properties of spacetime and inertial frames, looking for candidate sources of reaction mass and the means to interact with it. As much as these are basic areas of investigation for general physics, their investigation in the context of breakthrough spaceflight introduces additional perspectives from which to contemplate these lingering unknowns. This alternative perspective might just provide the insight that would otherwise be overlooked.