Has China trumped NASA? In December of 2016, NASA released its research on the controversial EM Drive propulsion system. If the electromagnetic technology proves out, it could radically change the way humans travel in space, opening up the possibility of a manned mission to Mars in just 70 days.
Skeptics however say the drive technology is more science fiction than science fact, violating one of the fundamental laws of physics, namely: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
“Action and reaction is a direct result of the conservation of momentum,” Brice Cassenti, advanced propulsions system expert from the University of Connecticut, explained previously. “The violation of such a basic law as the conservation of momentum would invalidate much of the basis for all of physics as we know it.”
If the results are valid, it definitely points to new physics. Newton’s laws have already been shown not to apply at high relative speeds (where special relativity applies), in large gravitational fields, and with very small scale molecules. But Newton is still mostly right. There are certainly many aspects of physics that we do not understand. Some aspects are so mysterious that we don’t even know where to begin!
Chinese physicist Dr Chen Yue, working at the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST), talks about his research on RF resonant cavity thrusters, soon to be tested in a satellite. If this controversial technology, similar in principle to the EmDrive invented by British engineer Roger Shawyer, is proven to work in space, this is the beginning of a new era of propellantless propulsion.
The Daily Galaxy via Physics Astronomy