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Aerospace NASA support for a "new" kind of propulsion

  1. Apr 1, 2017 #1
    I recall that a few years ago NASA awarded a contract for a "new" kind of propulsion, the details of which I have forgotten, and I would like to find any old news announcement about this from about the time of this award. My memory includes that the NASA contract to study this "new" method of propulsion was for about one million dollars.

    I have been searching the Internet to find more about what I recalled, but with only partial success. The closest I could directly find is about an older concept described in the following article about the Biefeld-Brown effect.
    Reading this article sort of rings a mental bell that the "new" idea was somehow similar to this effect. The article includes a reference to a 2004 NASA report which seems to debunk the Biefeld-Brown effect concept.
    I guess it might be a final report related to the NASA contract.
    This 2004 report has a REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE which mentions two Funding Numbers.
    I tried to find specific information about these Funding Numbers, but with no luck.

    I would appreciate any help in achieving one or both of two objectives.
    1. Confirm that the above cited report is the final report for the about one million dollar contract whose announcement I vaguely remember.
    2. Find an announcement of the original contract.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2017 #2


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  4. Apr 1, 2017 #3
    Were you thinking of the VASIMR thruster?
  5. Apr 1, 2017 #4
    Hi gleem:

    No. The VASIMR technology is not nearly as strange as the description of the description of the technology as I vaguely remember it. The techology described in the two items I cited are closer, and the one that the 2004 NASA report described (and debunked) seems like it might have been for the contract whose announcement I vaguely remember. If it is, I would like to confirm that and find one of the original announcements, or details about the specific contract, like when it was announced and who the contractor was.

  6. Apr 1, 2017 #5
    Hi FactChecker:
    Thanks for your post.

    I think it more likely that what I am looking for would be under 2.3.7 Breakthrough Propulsion.

  7. Apr 1, 2017 #6


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    Based on that, I Googled "Advanced vacuum thrusters" and got articles on a variety of very strange technologies. (I'm ignoring the technology roadmap direction of searching for wormholes.)
  8. Apr 1, 2017 #7


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    And not the EmDrive? (just mentioning it can get the thread locked though :wink: )
  9. Apr 1, 2017 #8
    Hi Borek:

    I only had time to take a quick look, but it looks familiar. Thanks for the post.

  10. Apr 1, 2017 #9
    Hi FactChecker:

    A quick look at the several articles I found for the Quantum Vacuum Thruster, as did the EmDriver, seemed familiar. Thanks for the post.

  11. Apr 4, 2017 #10
    I'm a bit surprised to see this sort of thing.


    But it seems NASA, while acknowledging some interest, says it is not pursuing FTL travel at this time.


    But they seem to not want to slam the door totally on this topic. I quote from the above page.

    "There are many “absurd” theories that have become reality over the years of scientific research. But for the near future, warp drive remains a dream."

    So they leave the door open that beyond the "near future," whatever that means, it may be feasible? I may be wrong, but I can't imagine Goddard, Ley, Oberth, or von Braun ever saying anything like that.

    I'm all for free thought and speculation (within limits), but I don't like to see NASA even mention this sort of thing.

    BTW what are the many "absurd" theories that have become reality? The absurd theories get disproven. Unless you think modern physics is somehow "absurd." This sort of talk is another door to pseudoscience, IMHO.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  12. Apr 4, 2017 #11
    Quantum mechanics is STILL absurd even if true
  13. Apr 4, 2017 #12
    It's absurd to think we are smart enough to really understand it. Shut up and calculate.
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