Word broke several months ago that a NASA lab had developed what many people equated to a warp drive, and now some new details on the emDrive tech claim it could potentially reach Pluto in 18 months.
A new report at Wired takes a closer look at the propellant-less microwave thruster, and touches on what has quickly become a hotly debated concept. Some scientists are understandably skeptical, but a new study by Martin Tajmar, professor and chair for space systems at the Dresden University of Technology, aims to bring some additional validity to the EmDrive.
Tajmar used his expertise and well-equipped lab to try and disprove some of the initial questions surrounding the proposal, coming at it with a fresh eye and no preconceived notions about wanting to make it work. NASA’s Eagleworks Lab came up with one ambitiously cool concept, but what it needs is some legitimacy and validity.
Though it remains a scientific long shot, the implications of a functioning EmDrive could have massive potential. The tech could make it all the way to Pluto in 18 months, and even if we just used it on robotic survey craft, it could allow humanity to explore our solar system in a fraction of the time. Looking further, a manned craft powered by and EmDrive could possibly get us to the outskirts of our solar system in less than two years. That’s game-changing.
Regardless, it’s encouraging to see more science teams testing out the theory. If they can replicate the results and make it work, then hooray, we’re exploring space. If not? Then we can stop messing with it and start working on the Next Big Thing.