Report: NASA Eagleworks "Impossible" EM Drive Has Passed Peer Review
The reactionless EM Drive has drawn plenty of controversy in the scientific community, with many researchers calling it speculative and unrealistic. Now, reports are coming out that research on the drive has finally passed peer review, and will soon be published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
Last year, NASA Eagleworks, a small group of scientists at NASA's Johnson Space Center who investigate fringe theories of space travel, claimed that they had successfully tested an "EM Drive," a jet thruster that could directly convert electromagnetic energy into thrust by colliding microwaves within a closed container, therefore bypassing the need for propellant. Mainstream scientists tend to agree that this technology defies the laws of physics, specifically Newton's Third Law and the law of conservation of momentum, but Eagleworks scientists claimed that they successfully produced thrust in the lab.
While several tests by independent scientists over the last year have not been able to falsify the results, the research was not peer-reviewed, and therefore not taken very seriously by the scientific community. The project was quiet until Paul March, the NASA Eagleworks engineer who carried out the original tests, announced that the paper had been accepted for peer review in March. Now, an independent scientist named Dr. José Rodal has posted a (since-deleted) comment on the NASA Spaceflight forum (via International Business Times) that he knows for a fact that the paper has passed peer review, and will be published under the title "Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio Frequency Cavity in Vacuum," with March listed as one of the authors
This hasn't been confirmed by any official sources, so we should take this with a grain of salt. But if this report turn out to be accurate, then the engine would certainly revolutionize space travel as we know it. The engine would be capable of producing thrust thousands of times greater than a standard photon rocket, and would have the ability to get us to the moon in only four hours, Mars in 70 days and to Pluto within 18 months, as opposed to New Horizons's nine-year journey. And Roger Shawyer, the scientist who first proposed the EM Drive back in 1999, claims that the technology could be used on Earth to solve the energy crisis.