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This is the NASA engine that would travel to Mars in 70 days


This is the NASA engine that would travel to Mars in 70 days

NASA has carried out tests with an engine called EM Drive, which if its correct operation is verified would give a great leap to space travel.

At the beginning of the 2000s, the British aerospace engineer Roger Shawyer invented the EM Drive, an engine with amazing properties compared to what has been known until now. It works by electromagnetic propulsion, but without the need for any type of propellant as such, is driven solely by electromagnetic waves. Since its invention NASA has been evaluating the feasibility of this system, which appears to have some conceptual gaps. However, in new tests, positive results have been obtained that invite us to think about a productive outcome.

Until now the EM Drive had remained in the limbo of inventions that could change everything but which are missing something to materialize. The new tests by no means mean that the engine is fully functional, yet verifications remain to be practiced.

The engine generates controversy among scientists, because its operation seems to violate one of the conservation laws of physics, in this case the amount of movement. This theory stipulates that in a closed system the total momentum cannot vary and remains constant over time. Applied to engines, this means that a forward propelled element needs a propellant which in turn travels in the opposite direction.

With the EM Drive there is no such equivalence, as it does not require any propellant, it is only magnetic waves that drive it. However, the creator of wit Shawyer disagrees that the system violates this principle. The scientist points out that the electricity is converted into microwaves, which push against the device, inside, causing the whole to accelerate in the opposite direction.

The EM Drive has just been successfully tested in a vacuum environment that mimics conditions in space, but scientists need to retest and verify the results in this type of environment. If the properties of the engine are confirmed, the leap for aerospace science would be huge. As calculated by NASA Eaglework Laboratories, Mars could be reached in just 70 days.

In case this figure is not saying much, the Eaglework Laboratories estimate that a trip to the star Alpha Centauri, the closest to Earth, which is just over four light years away, could be done in just 92 years with the EM Drive system. However, Shawyer’s purposes are less fanciful. The creator of this engine argues that it could be used as a cheap way to launch satellites, whose mission would be to absorb solar energy and then send it to Earth.

Images: Joe Skinner Photography, HacksHaven and Wikipedia