To the stars through hardship

This past month, scientists at NASA may have made some astonishing breakthroughs in advanced propulsion technology.  All revolutions in science seem to go through stages of acceptance: at first ridicule, then skepticism, and finally an impression that the revolution had been self-evident all along. Since the Moon landing of 1969, a budget-strapped NASA appears to think that conventional, low-thrust chemical rockets are an immutable fact of nature and human destiny, never to be supplanted by more advanced systems. A small, renegade outfit in NASA, led by Dr. Harold "Sunny" White and called Eagleworks, believes that Americans can do better and might ultimately fly to the stars.  He's been testing an electromagnetic space propulsion system called the "EmDrive," which uses no thrust propellant or fuel of any kind – only electricity.  Basically, the engine converts electricity (from solar panels or some other source) to microwaves, which...(Read Full Post)