There have been quite a few rumors about NASA conducting tests on a warp drive.
The truth is that it has not quite been the case.
There is no engine which is capable of blasting astronauts at a speed greater than that of light, nor is there Captain Kirk involved in the process.
Though, an electromagnetic (EM) drive by NASA is something straight out of science fiction.
It does not have any exhausts and functions using microwaves, contrary to other engines in the past.
Provided that it functions just fine, it would open doors to a new space competition.
However, physics suggests that it would not quite work.
NASA had looked into the technology before a representative reported the following: “the anomalous thrust signals remain”.
NASA released a paper which mentions that a spacecraft powered by nuclear energy can take a trip to Mars within eight months using the EM drive.
The paper also goes on to suggest that such a drive can develop ten times the same amount of thrust and even touch base on Mars within a maximum of twenty-eight days.
Engines these days require as much as six months to cover the same 498,000 miles.
That is almost five more months for scientists to withstand the harmful radiation.
Steven Thomson is a Ph.D. student from University of St Andrews who compares this to pulling oneself by the shoelaces while expecting oneself to levitate.
The concept of EM Drive comes from Roger Shawyer, who believes that the drive functions as microwaves bounce within a conical cavity.
Shawyer mentioned that it is still under investigation: “Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd is working with a UK aerospace engineering company to investigate the effects of acceleration on the performance of a superconducting EM Drive thruster.
The objective is to produce a lift engine for a Demonstrator UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).”