While the rest of the world was in some kind of mass coma over the past
year, China decided to have a hand at building the highly controversial
Emdrive (electromagnetic drive) -- an engine that uses microwaves to
transform electrical energy into thrust, all in a comparably
light-weight, efficient package. The end result could mean 41 day
journeys to Mars, not to mention terrestrial vehicle propulsion and
satellite applications. Perpetual motion
malarkey you say? British scientist and originator of the concept,
Roger Shawyer of Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd. (SPR), assures you
it's nothing of the kind, and Chinese Professor Yang Juan concurs.
Research headed by Juan at Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU)
in Xi'an commenced in June 2007, and a thruster now being built based
on Shawyer's theories is scheduled for completion by the end of this
year. Meanwhile in the US: cue the sound of crickets.