China: Proof-of-Concept Testing of EmDrive Ongoing in Space Station (Popular Science)

Since an article was published in The Journal of Propulsion and Power in which the authors confirmed in experiments that apparent propulsion-less thrust was detected in and EmDrive type device, there has been an increasing amount of interest this technology which many people say should be impossible in terms of known physics. Despite the skepticism, it looks like China is taking it very seriously. Thanks to Artefact for posting a link to a story in Popular Science about this:

Dr. Chen Yue, Director of Commercial Satellite Technology for the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) announced on December 10, 2016 that not only has China successfully tested EmDrives technology in its laboratories, but that a proof-of-concept is currently undergoing zero-g testing in orbit (according to the International Business Times, this test is taking place on the Tiangong 2 space station). (

They do not state that the results are positive, but one might assume that if they are moving from the lab to space, and that they are openly confirming the research program, that they would have some reason to believe that the technology is real and useful.

The PopSci article discusses how even with a tiny amount of thrust, space applications of EmDrive technology could be enough to drive spacecraft efficiently in deep space in the absence of friction and gravity.

  • Zephir
  • Frank Acland

    Let’s keep this thread on topic. There’s another one for the Rossi-IH case

  • radvar

    There is a large five-sided building across the Potomac from Washington DC…

  • Mats002

    Mars here we come! EMDrive for thrust and Virtual Reality for the crew to handle the waiting time. LENR power not needed for Mars I think…

    • radvar

      “So far 45 RTGs have powered 25 US space vehicles including Apollo, Pioneer, Viking, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses and New Horizons space missions as well as many civil and military satellites. The Cassini spacecraft carries three RTGs providing 870 watts of power from 33 kg plutonium oxide as it explores Saturn.”

    • radvar

      “The space station’s solar arrays were installed over several space shuttle missions. When astronaut Bill McArthur was on the station, it had one set of solar array wings. McArthur was the commander of Expedition 12 from October 2005 through April 2006. In March 2009, the STS-119 space shuttle crew installed and deployed the fourth and final set of solar arrays.
      Altogether, the four sets of arrays can generate 84 to 120 kilowatts of electricity — enough to provide power to more than 40 homes. Electricity is measured in units of power called watts. A kilowatt equals 1,000 watts. An active computer and monitor may use up to 270 watts. A small refrigerator uses about 725 watts.”

    • radvar

      Regarding Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters (MDPs)

      ” Testing for these thrusters has demonstrated exhaust velocities of 100,000 meters per second (over 200,000 mph) and thrust levels of 100 Newtons (22.5 pounds) at power levels of 1 megawatt.”

      • Albert D. Kallal

        Right, but that system is still talking about ejecting a fuel out a nozzle. The only difference is the particles are accelerated by a magnetic “rail gun”. You still have to place the mass of fuel on board for the required thrust. So you using a fuel and ejecting that fuel – it just not a chemical fuel. The issue right now is the EM thrust is tiny. 1 megawatt with a EM drive produces a few grams of thrust at best – not even close to the 22 pounds of using magnetic fields to push particles out of a nozzle like a MDP.

    • radvar

      EM Drives still need electrical energy for thrust. There’s some kind of equation in here where it’s possible to convert electrical energy to thrust, with the X factor being the efficiency of the EMDrive. Somewhere in there it would tell you how much electrical energy you would need to get a 10 metric ton Mars Bus to Mars in 10 days, at (somewhat smaller average distance) of 100M km Earth to Mars.

      • US_Citizen71

        I think full fission would be the way to go, at least for planning. I don’t think the current SunCell technology from Mills would work in zero gravity and Rossi is still unproven outside of his lab. So design with a fission plant in mind, the heat from a SunCell or a QuarkX could easily be worked in to replace the heat from fission, if they become an off the shelf component. You would get a big weight savings which would be welcome at the end of development.

        • artefact

          Re SunCell in space. You could place the SunCell on a rotating rig for artificial gravity.

          • US_Citizen71

            Then you need brushes to provide power to the silver and a complicated rotating seal system for the water and if any of the moving parts break you’ll be sure out of luck 10 million miles from home. That is not even considering counter rotational forces and vibration caused by the slightest off balance.

          • pelgrim108

            If power-in is via light and power-out is via light then you dont need brushes. I am not saying it is better just a thought. 🙂

          • US_Citizen71

            Currently power in is via high current electricity, no pun intended. A redesign is needed before the SunCell will be space ready. The power density I think would be ideal but Mills isn’t design it for anything other stationary use on good old planet earth at the moment.

          • artefact

            I hope the selfsustain mode will solve the issues. The water reservoir cound be made in the form of a wheel that is also spinning so that there is no weigh differences. But .. even if the SC works it needs to be tested a long time if it can run reliable.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      LENR power would be very useful on surface of Mars because of the cold nights and occasional dust storms. Whereas solar panel power is usually sufficient for satellites and spacecraft because they experience only relatively short eclipse periods. On lunar surface (2 week long night) LENR would be even more useful than on Mars.

      • Rene

        A 100KW nuclear reactor placed in a small crater would do just fine. One need not rely on unproven power for Mars direct. LENR would be great, if/when it becomes practical.


        • Andrew

          That would be fine and dandy until they needed a replacement part. Maybe we could defile all the planets in the solar system with radioactive waste.

          • Rene

            I suggest you read the Mars Direct articles. It explains why a nuclear reactor is necessary for a short time, far before any replacement parts are needed.

      • Sean

        O.k. Can anyone here (whom is familiar with microwave energy) work out how much thrust you can get in a vacuum if you just had a tuned open end pipe with a cavity magnetron at the other end in comparison to the EM drive setup? I know if you put a flashlight in space, it will thrust by ejecting photons.

  • US_Citizen71

    It needs to work in zero gravity as well there will be times it will be orbiting planets etc. Then there is start up and maneuvering resulting in various levels of gravity and vectors making it a little difficult to cross multiple streams of liquid in a controlled manner.

  • Thomas Baccei

    You’d hope that our scientists at NASA and elsewhere simply design experiments which determine if anything new is going on and why. It may be subtle, but we are NOT looking for gravity waves here. It would also make sense for mainstream scientists stop arguing from theory, because we ALL know that, if true, this effect would require “new” science, either at the basic theory level, or in details of interactions with some aspect of the physical world which are either not known, or well understood.

    • radvar

      According to Shawyer, the inventor, it does not need new science.

      Q. How can a net force be produced by a closed waveguide?
      A. At the propagation velocities (greater than one tenth the speed of light) the effects of special relativity must be considered. Different reference planes have to be used for the EM wave and the waveguide itself. The thruster is therefore an open system and a net force can be produced.”

      What we apparently need instead of new science is new
      -scientists- who are willing to look directly at the above statement and either validate it or refute it.

      I continue to be astounded that so far none of the critiques of the EMDrive have attempted to do either.

      • US_Citizen71

        Or there is my tongue in cheek explanation. The photons in the microwave signal are a wave when they leave the transmitter so they do not push the transmitter. They become a particle when they hit the wave guide and push it along.

    • Rene

      Frank, is e-catworld experiencing problems?

      • Frank Acland

        It was, but should be okay now, thanks.

  • georgehants

    Best Christmas wishes to everybody at and on ECW, to everybody in our World especially those waiting for Cold Fusions cheap energy to help with their everyday suffering.
    Hopefully 2017 will bring more to celebrate next year.
    George & Jackie

  • artefact


    “Jerry Pournelle talks about China’s orbital tests of the EMDrive as a bigger than Sputnik moment”

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