For years, NASA has been working on an engine capable of providing tons of thrust without consuming fuel. It now looks like that pursuit is bearing fruit: the second-generation EmDrive upgrade gives necessary "anomalous thrust signals" while its main characteristics have been solidly improved, Paul March, a researcher participating in the project, wrote on the online NASA Space Flight forum. A peer-reviewed article on the successes of the EmDrive project is yet to be published, but the online "leak" clearly indicates humanity may be a step closer to a brand-new range of speeds.
From @digitaltrends: NASA Confirms that the EM Drive thrusters work, after new tests https://t.co/l7u4iA9PZG pic.twitter.com/2yCjGzMjpy— Perth Observatory (@perthobs) November 5, 2015
A magnetron and microwaves create a propellant-less propulsion system. Basically, waves resonate inside an enclosed conical container, generating thrust toward the wide end of the cone.
It goes against the traditional laws of physics, and the initial design of the system by British researcher Roger Shawyer was met with skepticism by specialists worldwide back in 2003. Luckily, NASA has been known for supporting experiments, so it took the discovery under its wing.
Just think about all the possibilities a fuel-free drive promises. With 'warp-drive,' a journey to Mars could take just two and a half months.