While I've blogged about the recent tests of the so-called EM drive and the rather spectacular claims for it that are being bandied about, it's a story that seemingly won't go away. We'll get back to that in a moment, for it's the subject of today's high-octane speculation. But first, many of you sent me various articles on it. This one appeared on July 29, 2015, on RT:
And this one a day later in the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, one of three of Britain's respected daily newspapers along with The Times and The Guardian:
And finally, there's this one, referencing the fact that the EM drive was the subject of presentations at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Propulsion and Energy Forum and Exposition:
And consider carefully these cautionary statements in the last article especially:
The nature of the thrusts observed is still unclear… Our test campaign can not confirm or refute the claims of the EmDrive but intends to independently assess possible side-effects in the measurements methods used so far. Nevertheless, we do observe thrusts close to the magnitude of the actual predictions after eliminating many possible error sources that should warrant further investigation into the phenomena. Next steps include better magnetic shielding, further vacuum tests and improved EmDrive models with higher Q factors and electronics that allow tuning for optimal operation. As a worst case we may find how to effectively shield thrust balances from magnetic fields.
An example of something needing attention is that the thrust measurements linger even after the power is turned off. Such behavior is indicative of thermal effects, but it is premature to reach that conclusion.
That said, for the moment the EM drive remains a mystery, and even if one is observing lingering thermal effects, the question them becomes one of determining where they're coming from.
What interests me here is not so much the science, because I rather suspect that this might have been solved secretly and is being kept hidden for the moment. What interests me is rather why this story will not go away. Indeed, it seems almost that as soon as the story does drop off people's consciousness or radar, then another story appears about the subject in some major media outlet like the Times or Telegraph or RT, almost as if someone does not want the story to go away, and almost as if they want it to be kept in people's minds.
The other consideration here is that in these stories, it seems to be repeatedly emphasized that transit times to our celestial neighbors, if they utilized an operational form of this technology, would be drastically cut. Consider the references to Pluto and the Moon in this respect, for we have seen the stunning images of the Pluto-Charon system that literally took years to achieve. It's almost as if someone were trying to say "we may already be there, and have been there, for some time."
Which brings me to my high octane speculation of the day: why is this story not only not allowed to go away, but, on the contrary, seemingly deliberately revived and recirculted? And my speculation is that this may be part of the "slow drip" we've seen over the past few months and years of gradual disclosures of stunning technologies (if true), and of their even more stunning implications. Place it into the context of asteroid mining, plans to colonize the Moon and Mars, and one gets the idea.
In this case, I don't even have to say that this is "one to watch," because apparently, someone, somewhere, is making sure that we are.
See you on the flip side...