Nov 23, 2016 06:49 AM EST

New Rocket Engine Design By NASA Projected To Power Future Star Ships

Since the beginning of the space age, scientists have been looking for a rocket engine design that can run with little or no fuel. NASA's hope is to be able to transport Astronauts to Mars at the fastest time with minimal fuel.

A recent study published in Journal of Propulsion and Power espouses that such a rocket engine is now possible. A team of astrophysicists working at NASA's Eagleworks Laboratory has tested an electromagnetic propulsion system that generates some thrust without using any fuel.

The system utilizes microwaves that bounce around a cone-like copper structure emitting no propellant nor receiving any in the process but is able to propel objects. This kind of rocket engine seems to exist only in dreams and not within the realm of science.

According to the Washington Post, the newly discovered propulsion system breaks the fundamental law of inertia that states that for every action there is always an equal opposite force. It is actually the third law of Sir Isaac Newton which has not yet been disproved.

The principle of rocketry is when you burn gasses or any material in a chamber, the force generated by the rocket engine pushes the ship forward.  When a person pushes a cart, it can only go as far as the force exerted by the pusher. The same principle applies to all vehicles that are powered by engines.

The South China Morning Post reports the NASA's new rocket engine design uses no fuel so there is no exhaust that comes out. The force comes from within the copper cavity being impacted by photons.  The electromagnetic propulsion (EM) has been calibrated to produce 1.2 millinewtons of force for every kilowatt of electricity used. Theoretically, electricity sourced from solar sails in space can drive the EM.

The amount of force generated by the EM is quite small compared with the light ion drives presently used in many NASA spaceships. However, it is significantly bigger than the tiny electric impulses produced by space sails now in use.

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