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The Space Voyage of Future – A Brief Study on NASA’s EM Drive and Mach-Effect Thruster

Mohammed Zohaib Kolkar, Mohan Kumar


Recent technologies of spacecraft propulsion work on the basis of reaction mass. This makes then unsuitable for long space journey. Hence propellant-less propulsion is always been considered as a true replacement. But photon rockets or solar sails have an extremely low and weak thrust which makes them impractical for any heavy spacecraft carrying big scientific instruments or people. Therefore, scientists are looking in the forces which are latent tin the quantum vacuum of spacetime mainly the Hawking’s radiation and Unruh Temperature and also the Casimir effect. The purpose of this paper is to compare and evaluate the research being developed in two models: NASA’s EM Drive and Mach-Effect Thruster. EMDrive works on the concept of a truncated cone-shaped cavity which is claimed to produce thrust. But it’s unclear how this propulsion works as there is no theoretical basis that is firmly attached to it. Some even believe it violates the Newton’s Third Law. Whereas Mach-Effect Thruster works by generating mass fluctuations in a piezo-crystal stack that creates non-zero time-averaged thrusts. The results are then analyzed between them. Here the results show that the magnetic interaction form unshielded or not sufficiently shielded cables or thruster models are a source of error and needs to be rectified for accurate and precise micro-Newton(µN) thrust measurements for this kind of devices. The goal of the scientists is to refute whether these thrusters work as they claim and hopefully discover their working mechanisms that would enable to upscale these fuel-less propellant thrusters.


EM Drive; Mach-Effect Thruster; Fuel-less Spacecraft; Propellant-less Propulsion; Breakthrough Propulsion

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Mohammed Zohaib Kolkar, Mohan Kumar. The Space Voyage of Future—A Brief Study on NASA’s EM Drive and Mach-Effect Thruster. International Journal of Electro Mechanics and Mechanical Behaviour. 2019; 5(1): 26–36p.


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