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EM Drive That Defies Laws Of Physics Passes Peer Review

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NASA’s EM Drive, or Electromagnetic Drive, is a project that reportedly has been around since 1999. It’s a reactionless drive, meaning it doesn’t use any sort of fuel to generate thrust and propel it. Instead, the EM Drive bounces microwaves around in an enclosed cavity, which according to the laws of physics, should not generate thrust. But to the amazement – and suspended disbelief – of many, this impossible project seems possible, after all.

The idea has been a controversial one, mainly because of its seeming violations of fundamental laws. Critics have also argued that the study has not even been submitted for peer review – something that is not true as of this week. The EM Drive has officially been reviewed and passed, meaning it can be taken seriously.

Getting the thumbs up means that experts have found a study’s methods reasonable, but it doesn’t guarantee valid or accurate results. Despite that, the EM Drive paper gives the public a look at this experiment, and its implications on space missions.

Scientists have been unable to get the EM Drive to work for the past years, mainly because the microwaves bouncing around in the cavity produce heat, which could then create thrust. But this new experiment tested the EM Drive in a vacuum, where it worked even without the presence of heat, Forbes reports.

The level of efficiency opens so many possibilities in space exploration. For example, it could potentially take a spacecraft to Mars in just 70 days, as opposed to the more than 300 days it takes now.

More studies and experiments are needed to determine the extent of the EM Drive, the authors note. There are possible error sources to be accounted for, and there’s no clear indication as yet of how a drive can be applied for realistic purposes. As of now, while it has reached a new milestone, the project is still a puzzle waiting to be solved.

The study can be found in Aerospace Research Central.

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