NASA's Impossible Space Engine Is Total BS
Last week NASA released results of a test on a new space engine design. It seems to produce thrust without burning fuel. Is the impossible science fiction of the future now possible?
A simple picture of the proposed idea reveals its fundamental absurdity. Grab a friend and a hop into a car with a back seat (not like that). You push on the windshield repeatedly, while they push on the rear window just after every time you push on the front. Now, does the car roll forward? NASA is claiming that it might.
Peer a little deeper into the story and a forest of red flags start to appear. The design of the engine is disarmingly simple, but conceptually doesn't make sense. There are lots of equations to confuse the average reader. NASA didn't actually build the engine. It was given to them completely built from a design that has been criticized, refuted, discredited and described as a fraud by physicists.
NASA's test? Conducted by a guy who believes in warp drives. The second test of validity? A study published by an unknown researcher in a fourth-rate academic journal and never cited by anyone else.
Even worse, the control engine that was supposed to produce no thrust produced the same thrust as the test engine. When a "null" experimental control doesn't produce a null result... well, that's very bad.
Looks like NASA got duped.
According to Roger Shawyer and Guido Fetta, the peddlers of the EMDrive or Cannae drive, the engine works by bouncing microwaves back and forth within a metal container. The claim is that by making one side of the container bigger than the other, more thrust is deposited on that wall. Face that wall to the back and the engine pushes forward. What's the flaw?
The total energy flux of a wave doesn't change except for dissipation as it goes back and forth. Translation: the same amount of energy is deposited on the front of the engine as the back of the engine. You cannot possibly get net energy out of a system with no additional energy input. In reality, the net force is zero, producing zero thrust.
Once the basic idea is busted, the creators resort to true BS. First, they claimed relativistic electrodynamics explained the device's power. Then they switched tacks and claimed that vacuum quantum energy is the key. Science seems to refute these findings as somewhere between implausible and nonsensical. What other extraordinary evidence can we look for to support this extraordinary claim?
How about the only other test of the engine? Great scientific work is not always published in top journals, and sometimes fraudulent work is. However, better work from better researchers generally tends to be published in a select few well respected journals. This academic test was not published in one of the 10 best publications in physics, nor one of the 50 best, nor even one of the 500 best. It was published in a journal ranked 688th in the field, a place where weak research findings go to quietly die. This publication isn't even translated into English, the universal scientific language of the Earth.
Finally, common sense can be a last check: the smell test. Extracting free energy with no loss of fuel? Does this sound plausible? I leave that to you. Personally, I'd bet my salary against it. Not that that's much money, mind you.