Reports of NASA “Warp Drive” Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

/ 5 years ago

nasa warp

After the huge buzz of discovering that not only was NASA working on its own version of Star Trek’s ‘warp drive’ – the fuelless EmDrive, that uses electromagnetics to propel a craft to astronomical speeds – but that the astronautics agency had successfully tested it, here comes the inevitable deflation: “NASA is not working on ‘warp drive’ technology,” agency officials told

According to NASA, though the EmDrive was successfully tested in vacuum conditions, the experiment was small-scale and the drive only produced a tiny amount of thrust, far from the speed of light-breaking propulsion of the USS Enterprise. As NASA puts it, “While conceptual research into novel propulsion methods by a team at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston has created headlines, this is a small effort that has not yet shown any tangible results.”

The problem with the EmDrive, which was a concern even when it seemed that tests were promising, is that it seemed to output more energy than the amount consumed by it which violates Newton’s Third Law. According to astrophysicist Brian Koberlien, the “impossible” result of the EmDrive test could be due to electromagnetic leaks in the chamber or the drive coupling with the Earth’s magnetic field. Until the results are peer-reviewed, Koberlien says, we won’t know.

Regardless, NASA has resolved to continue to research and develop new ways of travelling to the stars:

“The agency does fund very fundamental research as part of our advanced concepts and innovative investments that push the frontiers of science and engineering. This is part of what NASA does in exploring the unknown, and the agency is committed to and focused on the priorities and investments identified by the NASA Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan. Through these investments, NASA will develop the capabilities necessary to send humans further into space than ever before.”

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