An actual EM Drive is about to be launched into space for the first time, so scientists can finally figure out – once and for all – if it really is possible for a rocket engine to generate thrust without any kind of exhaust or propellant.
As Fiona MacDonald put it back in June, space enthusiasts love to get excited about the EM Drive, because if it works, it has the potential to remove major barriers in our need to explore the Solar System and beyond.
Invented by British scientist Roger Shawyer back in 1999, the EM Drive – short for electromagnetic propulsion drive – purportedly works like this. This causes the ‘pointy end’ of the EM Drive to accelerate in the opposite direction that the drive is going.
“This is an important step for the EM Drive as it adds legitimacy to the technology and the tests done thus far, opening the door for other groups to replicate the tests. This will also allow other groups to devote more resources to uncovering why and how it works, and how to iterate on the drive to make it a viable form of propulsion.”
On top of all of that, we’re about to see an actual EM Drive be blasted into space.
Guido Fetta is CEO of Cannae Inc, and the inventor of the Cannae Drive – a rocket engine that’s based on Roger Shawyer’s original EM Drive design.