Scientists at Estes Park Explore EmDrive and Other Propulsion Physics Breakthrough Research

Waiting for the publication of the NASA Eagleworks EmDrive paper in December, some preliminary results could be revealed at a select, invitation-only three-day workshop in Colorado, which starts today. Besides EmDrive science, the workshop will cover many other propulsion physics breakthrough research projects.

A few weeks ago Hacked covered rumors that a new EmDrive paper by NASA scientists at the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory – aka Eagleworks – had been accepted for publication in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)’s Journal of Propulsion and Power, a prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal.

AIAA then confirmed that the paper, titled “Measurement of Impulsive Thrust from a Closed Radio Frequency Cavity in Vacuum,” will be published in the December issue of the journal.

While there are hints that the paper, which has passed peer review, reports positive results, not much more is known at the moment. However, more information could be unveiled at a three-day workshop that starts today (September 20) at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park Center, Colorado. See the last pages of the current EmDrive thread at NASASpaceFlight Forums, the unofficial meting point of EmDrive researchers and enthusiasts. Watch the thread for frequent updates, and of course, Hacked is following the story closely.

The Estes Park Advanced Propulsion Workshop, 20-22 September 2016, organized by the Space Studies Institute (SSI), will feature presentations by NASA Eagleworks scientist Paul March and Prof. Martin Tajmar, chair for Space Systems at the Dresden University of Technology, who last year presented an independent confirmation of the anomalous EmDrive thrust.

Other notable participants include Prof. James Woodward and Prof. Heidi Fearn, both from California State University, Fullerton, and Prof. David Hyland from Texas A&M University.

Unfortunately, the workshop will not be streamed. The SSI intends to make the workshop’s proceedings and video recordings available as soon as possible after the workshop.

Let Us Dream

Woodward ExperimentThe SSI is a non-profit organization founded in 1977 by the late Princeton University Professor Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill and based in Mojave, California. The SSI’s Estes Park Conference Overview presentation states that:

“Our overarching objective is to find a way for humankind to reach the stars. This will require a breakthrough in propulsion.”

“No major technical institution is investing systematically in the research and development
necessary to realize the goal of interstellar travel beyond the nearest stars,” notes the overview. “Fundamental research in physics funded by the NSF tends to focus on quantum gravity and string theory. NASA funded a small breakthrough propulsion program in the 1990s, but it was not sustained. Even if money was available, it is not clear how and where funds should be invested.”

The previous NASA breakthrough propulsion program, known as Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project (BPP), was funded by NASA between 1996 and 2002, with total funding of $1.2 million. The book “Frontiers of Propulsion Science,” edited by BPP’s founder and manager, Marc G. Millis, describes the candidate research steps that will lead to discovering if, or how, radical propulsion breakthroughs might finally be achieved. A summary of the book is freely available from arXiv.

“This book is the first-ever compilation of emerging science relevant to such notions as space drives, warp drives, gravity control, and faster-than-light travel the kind of breakthroughs that would revolutionize spaceflight and enable human voyages to other star systems,” reads the book’s introduction. “Although these concepts might sound like science fiction, they are appearing in increasing numbers in reputable scientific journals.” After the BPP was canceled in 2002, some former members, including Millis, founded the Tau Zero Foundation to continue breakthrough propulsion physics research and promote the dream of interstellar colonization.

The Estes Park workshop – a select, invitation-only workshop in an isolated retreat – won’t be limited to EmDrive research but cover many propulsion physics breakthrough research projects, with a special focus on James Woodward’s “Mach Effect” (aka “Woodward Effect“) Drive. See also Woodward’s book, “Making Starships and Stargates – The Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes,” a review by Charles Platt on Boing Boing, and the related Exotic Propulsion Initiative at SSI.

Frequent NASASpaceFlight poster José Rodal, who is attending the workshop, provided information on some scheduled presentations: March and Tajmar will present EmDrive experiments, Woodward and Fearn will present experiments on the Mach Effect Drive, and Hyland will present experimental work on the dynamic Casimir Effect. Rodal himself will discuss a self-consistent solution, derived from Hoyle-Narlikar theory of gravitation, a computational model, several comparisons with experimental force results conducted in a vacuum chamber, and experimental impedance spectroscopy results.

“SSI is to be applauded in this approach in sponsoring this veritable mind-meld of Physicists, PhDs, Educators, Engineers and even the highly interested who have a common mindset and goal,” said independent EmDrive researcher and frequent NASASpaceFlight poster Michelle Broyles, aka SeeShells, who is attending the workshop.

Let us dream.

I wish to add my voice to SeeShells’. Dreaming bold and beautiful dreams is essential to the mental well-being of individual and societies. And sometime hard and smart work makes those dreams come true.

Images from Wikimedia Commons and Space Studies Institute.

Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.