We’re still waiting on warp drives to get us around the galaxy, but NASA now believes an equally fantastical mode of transportation might actually have some merit. Say hello to the EM Drive.
Engadget reports a team of scientists at NASA Eagleworks (basically a moonshot division to explore wild ideas) has published a peer-reviewed paper suggesting an EM Drive is worth researching and exploring further. The team was able to create thrust in a vacuum without the need of any propellant. The study was published in ARC.
Put simply, an EM Drive is designed to produce thrust without the need of fuel (that’d be handy, right?). It works by bouncing microwaves in an enclosed device to create thrust. If it works on a large scale, it could revolutionize the way we approach space travel. Instead of having to spend most of your weight on rocket fuel, you could just install an EM Drive and start flying. No refueling required. Speed-wise, this could potentially get you to Mars in around six weeks
Of course, it’s important to note this isn’t definitive proof an EM Drive will work. But it’s a positive sign, and if nothing else it’ll hopefully spark some additional research and development in the coming years.