NASA’s Johnson Space Center has successfully tested electromagnetic (EM) propulsion drive that could help in space travel in the solar system. The significant breakthrough in the multi-year project was the result of the effort by international research teams.
Dr.Harold “Sonny” White at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) led the advanced propulsion research group NASA Eagleworks, is known for publishing their startling results on July 28-30, 2014 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The group successfully tested the EM propulsion in a man-made vacuum for the first time while the earlier tests were conducted in atmospheric conditions.
The breakthrough of testing EM drive in a vacuum, has defied the Newtonian Laws of Physics. The Newton’s Law of Conservation of Momentum has been challenged as the test was undertaken in a closed cavity. The EM Drive project began in 2001, when a Research and Development (R&D) program was started by UK-based Satellite Propulsion Research Center Ltd (SPR) under Roger J. Shawyer.
NASA reported that EM drive could facilitate a spacecraft to travel to the moon in a few hours while Mars can be reached in about 70
hours days. EM Drive research is undergoing tests at various agencies in several countries. The primary aim is to build a propellant-free propulsion system, where electromagnetic waves is converted to electrical energy to generate thrust.
In 2014, Prof. Yang published research papers stating that Chinese EM Drive could be installed at the International Space Station (ISS), to provide a necessary delta-V (change in velocity, to perform an on-orbit maneuver) to compensate the Station’s orbital decay. However, Yang did not explain how the EM Drive can produce propulsion in space. Recently, an engineer at NASA Eagleworks announced that a breakthrough has been achieved in testing EM Drive in a hard vacuum.[ Source ]