Showing posts from April, 2015

Is NASA one step closer to warp drive?

NASA is reportedly working on technology that could take us to the moon faster than a cross-country flight.
Potentially good news for those who want to zip around our solar system, and beyond, at speeds approaching that of light -- and maybe even faster.

NASA, according to, is quietly claiming to have successfully tested a revolutionary new means of space travel that could one day allow for such insane speed, and to have done it in a hard vacuum like that of outer space for the first time.

The technology is based on the electromagnetic drive, or EM drive.

The science behind the EM drive is, well, complicated to say the least, but the basic idea is to convert electrical energy into thrust without propellant (the fuel in rockets), which should be impossible because it violates the law of conservation of momentum. That law states that momentum can only be changed by one of the forces described by Newton's laws of motion -- that's where propellant normally …

New Test Suggests NASA's "Impossible" EM Drive Will Work In Space

Last year, NASA’s advanced propulsion research wing made headlines by announcing the successful test of a physics-defying electromagnetic drive, or EM drive. Now, this futuristic engine, which could in theory propel objects to near-relativistic speeds, has been shown to work inside a space-like vacuum.

NASA Eagleworks made the announcement quite unassumingly via There’s also a major discussion going on about the engine and the physics that drives it at the site’s forum.

The EM drive is controversial in that it appears to violate conventional physics and the law of conservation of momentum; the engine, invented by British scientist Roger Sawyer, converts electric power to thrust without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves within a closed container. So, with no expulsion of propellant, there’s nothing to balance the change in the spacecraft’s momentum during acceleration. Hence the skepticism. But as stated by NASA Eagleworks scientist Harold White…

NASA test of 'impossible' EM Drive that uses no propellant in a vacuum a success

While some media reports that NASA has accidentally created a warp field during a test of the EM drive are, at best, premature, the progress being made on the space drive that does not use rocket fuel has been, nevertheless, impressive. The EM Drive uses a closed microwave cavity to produce thrust in a way that seems to defy what is currently known about the laws of physics. reported on Wednesday that engineers at NASA’s Eagleworks, located at the Johnson Spaceflight Center, have tested the EM drive in a vacuum for the first time.

The test of the EM Drive confirmed that the thrust measurements were not due to thermal convection because of microwave heating the air around the test article. The results buttressed the hypothesis that the space agency has stumbled upon an engine that does not behave the way physics says it should behave.

Dr. Harold White, who leads the Eagleworks group that is delving into advanced propulsion technology, offered one possible explanatio…

Evaluating NASA’s Futuristic EM Drive


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Humanity won't survive another 1,000 years unless it escapes Earth, physicist Stephen Hawking warns

World famous physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that humanity will not survive another 1,000 years unless it escapes Earth.

He made the assessment in his first Australian address at Sydney's Opera House, where he appeared through the use of holographic technology from his office in the University of Cambridge in Britain.

"We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity," Mr Hawking said.

"I don't think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our fragile planet."

He was filmed by two cameras in his office to create the holographic effect, with the footage sent to San Jose for processing, and then on to the Sydney Opera House.

Both his lectures on Saturday and Sunday night were sold out - the enthusiastic audience keen to hear the 73-year-old speak about the universe, black holes, and the history of time.

"I want to share my excitement and enthusiasm about this quest, so remember to look up at the stars and not dow…

Did NASA Just Accidentally Produce A Warp Bubble? EmDrive Could Lead To Warp Drive

NASA scientists working on a project called EmDrive have accidentally stumbled upon something that will send science fiction junkies into a frenzy. The possibility of a real-life warp drive has been placed on the table thanks to readings that indicate the EmDrive’s resonance chamber sent beams traveling faster than the speed of light, which would be considered warp speed. Researchers have considered the possibility of traveling faster than the speed of light, but until the recent NASA study, the feat had never been achieved.

Mysterious Universe notes that the NASA scientists are buzzing about the discovery on the NASA Spaceflight Forums. The forums are a place for information regarding the engineering aspects of the space flight and NASA. Therefore, the discovery that laser beams may have just breached the speed of light sent the page into discussions on the long-term implications of warp speed bubbles and the possibly of future warp speed travel.

First, the researchers note that t…

NASA Hoping To Find Alien Life By Funding NExSS

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have bolstered their efforts in searching for alien life through the help of the new Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) program.

NASA is setting up a research team consisting of Earth climate experts from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) who will create a model of the Earth's climate and use it to look for other planets in space that have a similar climate.

Other members of the team include Earth scientists, planetary scientists, heliophysicists, and astrophysicists.

The space agency will also make use of the Kepler space telescope which has already identified 1,000 exoplanets since its launch six years ago. Five of these newly discovered planets have similar sizes to Earth and are considered to be habitable.

"We have to start thinking about these things as more than planetary objects," Anthony Del Genio, a climate modeller from the GISS effort, said.

The National Aeronautics and Space A…

First visible light spectrum from exoplanet

Why are astronomers excited about the first directly obtained visible light spectrum – or rainbow array of visible colors – bounced from the surface of an exoplanet? The exoplanet 51 Pegasi b – a hot Jupiter, located some 50 light-years from Earth in the direction of our constellation Pegasus – will forever be remembered as the first confirmed exoplanet found orbiting an ordinary star like our sun. That was in 1995, and now more than 1900 exoplanets in 1200 planetary systems have been confirmed, and billions more are suspected in our Milky Way. In a giant step forward in exploring exoplanets, astronomers in Chile announced on April 22, 2015 that they used 51 Pegasi b for another first, the first-ever direct detection of a spectrum of visible light reflected off an exoplanet’s surface. They’re excited! And here’s why.

This first suggests that more will follow, just as the discovery of thousands more exoplanets followed the discovery of 51 Pegasi b. It means our technology has advanced…

Interstellar Travel: So Where Should We Go?

Far beyond the issue of whether interstellar travel is technologically possible is the very practical issue of where we should go once we have built our first "starship."

The whole idea of interstellar travel was created by fiction writers, but because it has many elements of good science in it, it is a very persuasive idea. It is an idea located smack in the middle of the "gray area" between fantasy and reality, and this is what inspires people to try to imagine ways to make it a reality. One thing we do know is that it will be an expensive venture requiring an investment at the level of many percent of an entire planet's GDP. Faced with the mounting impact of climate change, will Society have enough spare change for this kind of undertaking?

By some estimates, the first interstellar voyage will cost many trillions of dollars, require decades to construct and involve tens to hundreds of passengers and explorers. It will certainly cost more than the $100 bil…

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Deep Space Exploration Will Demand Artificial Gravity

Long stays in space have a major hitch. Medical studies on the effects of microgravity on astronauts after many months in low-Earth orbit (LEO) can’t get around one hard truth — humans aren’t cut out for life without gravity. Thus, artificial gravity habitats are now being discussed as a crucial component of long-duration near-Earth asteroid (NEA) mining missions.

Artificial gravity will be particularly important for years-long commercial missions where real-time telerobotics will need to be performed by crews housed in close proximity to the asteroid itself. Such gravity habitats would also be useful for years-long exploration of low-gravity bodies such as the Moon, Mars , or eventually even the moons of the outer planets.

William Kemp, a Washington, D.C.-area defense contractor, thinks he and business partner, Ted Maziejka, have come up with a design that offers a viable solution in such instances. It’s a 30-meter diameter cylindrical space station, capable of creating variable ar…

Could we get to Mars in 39 DAYS? Nasa selects companies to develop super fast deep-space engine

Company in Texas has been asked to develop its revolutionary engineAd Astra's Vasimr engine could apparently get to Mars in 39 daysIt is one of 12 advanced technology projects to be funded by NasaOthers include new types of habitation and small deep space satellites Nasa has selected a variety of companies to work on projects to create advanced space technologies, including faster methods of propulsion.

Other projects to be worked on include improved habitats for humans, and small satellites to explore deep space.

And one of the companies in the 12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextStep) says they have an engine that could get humans to Mars in just 39 days.

The Vasimr engine - which uses plasma as a propellant - is being developed by the Ad Astra Rocket company in Texas.

Their engine shot to fame a few years ago when it was revealed that it could drastically reduce the journey time to Mars from months to weeks - although it may require a nuclear power sou…

Is this ET? Mystery of strange radio bursts from space