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China Confirms EmDrive Research, Plans To Use The Technology On Chinese Satellites As Soon As Possible

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Notwithstanding NASA's skepticism about the "reactionless space" engine, China has revealed that is going ahead with a working prototype of EmDrive space propulsion technology, signaling the technology's success.

According to reports that quoted China's Ministry of Science and Technology, the "key technology research" has been on for many years and expansion into "engineering applications" is imminent.

Adoption In Satellites

Announcing the details at a press conference in Beijing, the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) leaders explained the progress in the ongoing engagement with the EmDrive in which National research institutions have done repeated tests and drew an encouraging response. It was a loud assertion that China is taking the technology forward.

"We have successfully developed several specifications of multiple prototype principles. The establishment of an experimental verification platform to complete the milli-level micro thrust measurement test, as well as several years of repeated experiments and investigations into corresponding interference factors, confirm that in this type of thruster, thrust exists," added Chen Yue, China's head of the communication satellite division.

Experts said the technology gained good traction and is at a testing stage aboard the Tiangong-2 space laboratory. The liberal funding from China's space agency is making sure that its early incorporation in Chinese satellites is a priority.

Aiming High

According to CAST communications satellite designer Li Feng, the prototype has already generated a few millinewtons of thrust.

According to the Feng, the agency is aiming to reach higher levels of thrust between 100 millinewtons to 1 newton to garner better control and rule out any collapse of the satellite into the orbit by looking to improve the placement of the thruster on satellites.

Noting the innovations ahead, CAST officials said they need to improve the cavity design to cut down electrical losses from the material the cavity is made of and position the microwave thruster to balance the temperature of the cavity for the desired thrust levels.

Road Ahead

With China testifying to the success of the 'impossible' and 'reactionless' space engine, EmDrive is ahead with a new milestone.

The pioneering efforts of British electrical engineer Roger Shawyer in EmDrive through his company Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd are also contested by many scientists.

The thruster designed in 2001 was intended for space travel and named Electromagnetic Drive (EmDrive) with an anisotropic electromagnetic field created in the microwave cavity, relying on a directional field to induce movement.

However, a section of the scientific community is appalled and says EmDrive is unwieldy as it breaches Newton's third law of motion that says every action would trigger an equal and opposite reaction. In EmDrive's case, fuel ejections are not happening.

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