NASA validates seemingly impossible space thruster

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Kittamaru, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/space/improbable-thruster-seems-work-violating-known-laws-physics/
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-07/31/nasa-validates-impossible-space-drive

    ... holy shit...

    If this is accurate... the implications for deep space exploration are incredible. Upscaling or multiple drives could even provide for manned missions perhaps...
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I heard about ION drives but they really are slow starting needing over half the solar system to just pick up enough speed that equals rockets with propellants.
     
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  5. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    the issue with interstellar travel or such
    is the human element, seclusion.
    projects have show humans go insane.
    same results over and over.
    the end result is, they went insane.
     
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I for one would certainly hope the article is on the mark.
    I may yet see stellar travel before I kick the bucket!!!!!
    Keeping everything crossed!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed, though this is mostly meant for smaller probes and such right now - though, if you could build a worldship, something with facilities to house several dozen to several hundred people and the facilities to replenish its own resources... insanity wouldn't be an issue. Granted, we're talking something on the scale of the Babylon project (for those of you who know Babylon 5)
     
  9. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    yeah, i forget what amount of humans has been tested,
    but it's no where near babylon project.
    but what was tested lead to ,
    it didn't matter how many humans were involved,
    it mattered that those humans were cut off from humanity in general(even with communications).
    long periods of no other contact.
    i'll see if i can at least find one of these projects.
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Nonsense. People in prisons don't go insane unless they are in solitary confinement. What if the ship held a million people? They might get homesick, but they aren't going to go nuts.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, if the numbers above are representative of actual performance, then this will be very similar in thrust level to an ion drive. But this one requires no fuel at all, compared to an ion drive that requires a small amount of fuel/reaction mass. In terms of manned missions it's unlikely this will be a good source of propulsion, but for missions like a Mars mission such drives would be invaluable to deliver cargo. (For example use these drives to place a lander + return vehicle in Mars orbit and an ascent stage on the surface, then use standard chemical rockets or a VASIMR drive to boost a much lighter manned vehicle to Mars orbit.)

    In terms of the likelihood of this being a real effect, I think it's pretty low - this will most likely turn out to be an anomalous interaction between unexpected parameters - say, the circulation within a magnetron and the Earth's magnetic field. But it is definitely worth finding out. Try ten unlikely solutions, and the odds of one of them working out is pretty high.
     
  12. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    This junk has been around for at least a decade. NASA sometimes investigates junk based on Pascal's wager, so you shouldn't hold your breath about it amounting to anything.

    The article basically implies that the result was due to an unknown experimental error.

    And 50 micrownewtons is less than the weight of an iPhone? Yeah, it is also less than an ant and battleship, but which is the more helpful comparison? Pbs should do better.
     
  13. krash661 [MK6] transitioning scifi to reality Valued Senior Member

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    2,973
    what's nonsense is the incorrect spewing and the lack of comprehension of this individual.
    it appears this is far advance for this individual.
    please at least look into such thing that i have stated before spewing incorrectly.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Could it not be the magnitude of the reactive force exerted by microwave photons exiting the cavity? In theory, even a torch beam carries momentum, so the torch experiences a reaction in the opposite direction. No need to pretend any laws of physics are broken in that case.
     
  15. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, it could well be -- but that falls under the header "experimental error" and isn't what is being claimed.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Right - but they are claiming thrusts far in excess of what radiation pressure would suggest.
     
  17. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    720 mN from this is great, so is propellantless solar sail...

    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20140006052.pdf

    I am very very suspicious about this document even thou it does seem to be on a NASA server...

    especially when one of the authors is Harold G. White, aka for Warp Drive scientist who was supposed to deliver us the alcubierre demonstration project: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_G._White_(NASA)

    anyways this hype if all for what they call "Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster"...again I am very very suspicious as to validity.

    reference to here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110023492.pdf
     
  18. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    Isn't that exactly why it's, you know, NASA, testing it out?
     
  19. youreyes amorphous ocean Valued Senior Member

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    yea but Mr. White scientific papers look so unprofessional and his so called experiments lack details...i feel like whoever is financing this "Eagleworks laboratory" has too much money to spend.
     
  20. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    3,950
    Not very much thrust, doesn't sound interstellar to me, and probably too good to be true, however

    The James Webb telescope due to launch in 2018 using technology frozen at about 2002 might be able to use such a thruster to extend its projected service life beyond 10 years, after which time its thrusters will no longer have a supply of hydrazine, necessary for station keeping orbiting the L2 Lagrange point. It will be too far to resupply or refurbish the way we did Hubble.
     
  21. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    2,527
    That PDF looks more like the tech notes of a wannabe than a reputable experimentalist, and certainly not in order for consideration as science. Scary.

    Do you suppose he's working with Rossi? Not a new technology, but partners in scam? :shrug:
     
  22. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    33,264

    All you need is one crew member to go awry and make a hole in the spaceship to kill everyone on board. Remember that 1 out of 4 people have mental problems and you can never tell who they are until they do something like destroy the ship by putting a hole in it somewhere.
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Please do provide support for your claims, because I am not sure anyone else here would be aware of any projects carried out by reputable scientists that would test people to the point of insanity, yet you casually claim that multiple projects have shown seclusion to end in the same result: insanity.

    This is a bold claim and thus requires supporting evidence, given the preponderance of evidence that suggests seclusion, while it undoubtedly can lead to insanity, is fairly common (as spidergoat stated) in the prison system with minimal (if any) affect on the mental health of the prisoner.

    So please do provide the support for your claims, and until you do, have the decency to put up with people disbelieving you and posting their own opinions without you questioning their intelligence.


    The longest experiment I am aware of that has tested such things was the MARS-500, with people spending 520 days in a small isolated group, with minimal contact with the outside world. No problems were reported.

    The problem with any such endurance testing of missions is the safety-net that the subjects are aware of... That they are being monitored, that if anything does to wrong then they would be safe. The risks involved with the actual missions simply can't be replicated ethically in trials.

    But other than studies on the prison population, or other encounters with people who have been isolated for long periods, I am not aware of that many studies, projects or tests on long-term isolation, let alone any that conclude that isolation leads inexorably to insanity as you seem to claim.

    Furthermore you forget that any such endeavour would involve painstaking efforts to analyse the personnel rigorously for psychological defects that would endanger the mission. Although no such testing can weed out all issues, and of course some risk will remain.
    But then the matter is one of how the remaining occupants cope and deal with any members that go insane.
     

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