New nasa report: Eagleworks Lab

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Main Question or Discussion Point

NASA's current report on their EAGLEWORKS lab for spacecraft propulsion

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=2...matchallpartial%20&Ntk=All&N=0&Ntt=eagleworks
NASA/JSC is implementing an advanced propulsion physics laboratory, informally known as Eagleworks", to pursue propulsion technologies necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system over the next 50 years, and enabling interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century... The lab will first implement a low-thrust torsion pendulum (<1 uN), and commission the facility with an existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster. The lab will eventually incorporate an interferometer to be used to measure York Time effects of test devices (expansion/contraction of space) [test Alcubierre's warp drive effect] ... . If the physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight, 400kW SEP human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible
The actual PDF is here: http://hdl.handle.net/2060/20110023492

EDIT: A mod might want to consider moving this to the BtSM section. It's discussing both Alcubierre's warp drive paper, and a plasma engine using the vacuum energy as both power source and reaction mass.
 
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  • #2
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140 views and ZERO comments on this forum. This confirms my suspicion: Something inside NASA is broken but everyone loves them too much to call them out!
 
  • #3
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It is highly speculative - so what? Several new things were thought to be impossible before.
Bose-Einstein condensates were pure theory for 70 years, lasers/masers for 30-40 years.
The concept of the alcubierre drive is less than 20 years old.
They don't build a spacecraft there. They look for very small effects which could appear in the experiment.
 

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