If any of you forgot, the X-37B, or Boeing X-37, is a space drone is solar-powered. Not only that, he set a record of being in orbit, having spent 678 days without a break, so still nobody really knows (except the U.S. government, of course), what is in all those days did. The device was launched into orbit in may 2015, the U.S. air force, and no one can answer how much time he'll spend there and what is the task in front of him.
Of course, around this mystery like mushrooms after a rain have got all kinds of conspiracy theories, in which he discussed everything from espionage in the Middle East and cosmic bombardments (which in principle is possible) and ending with tracking the Chinese space station. The very same American government has traditionally denies espionage and places a priority on "the study of the technologies of reusable spacecraft in the future, their further use in the framework of long-term space missions."
Here's something out and out rumors about the EM Drive. The details of these reports vary, but the basis is: on Board X-37B is a new reactive electromagnetic engine that is tested remotely by scientists on earth without the influence of gravity and other forces that could reduce the purity level of the experiments. In General, the EM Drive is like a Kardashian from the world of science. Have not proved their benefit for society, but it is always of great interest, as soon as somewhere is mentioned. Its attractiveness is primarily due to the fact that this propulsion system is theoretically able to work and create traction, not because of the burning rocket fuel, and due to the vibration and oscillation of microwaves. On paper this engine (of appropriate size) will be able to deliver humans to Mars in just 70 days, which in turn will create a revolution in space travel.
But this is only the case if the engine will prove its worth. Early tests, including tests conducted aerospace Agency NASA, the results of which were published in the journal of Propulsion and Power, showed that the EM Drive actually creates thrust, but no one can explain if the phenomenon or the thing in some kind of external interference (external noise impact).
"Data verification phase of the forward and reverse thrust show consistent performance of the system 1.2 of ± 0.1 mn/kW, which can be considered as switching performance. The study also included a review of zero thrust, the purpose of which was the exclusion of possible external influences and to identify possible external sources of impulse thrust. However, none of this could not be determined," according to NASA.
But even after the experiments, the researchers are unable to explain how such a system can work, since in fact before us the violation of Newton's third law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, one end of the EM Drive for propulsion must be something to be ejected. In conventional chemical engines that "something" is heat and fire generated by burning the discharged fuel. But EM Drive any fuel not used, so it should not create cravings. But, judging by the tests, it creates it. How?
Perhaps the best option that will allow you to understand this question, is to check the engine in an environment with a complete absence of annoying factors like friction and air pressure. The perfect place for this check is space. That is why the Chinese government, as well as the Creator of the idea of EM Drive have expressed interest in conducting similar tests. And in China's case these tests, according to the headlines from the media, is already underway.
But what is the us military spacecraft X-37B? Frankly, the American government has not even officially confirmed their interest in the tests EM Drive in space, so to say will not — was in his hands the collected instance of the EM Drive in 2015, when it launched a spacecraft, or it didn't.
However, rumors in support of this test engine fueled by some facts, though very scarce. Last year, an anonymous source told the online edition of International Business Times that talks about this technology really began in 2007, after the signing of the contract between the UK Ministry of defence and Boeing. In the contract about this technology, nothing was said, but interest was aroused by one of its points, allowing Boeing (maker of the X-37B) to conduct research EM Drive for 10 years.
There were rumors that Boeing is collaborating with the very inventor of the EM Drive, by British engineer Roger Sawyer, although Boeing later said he is no longer interested in this device.
According to the official version, the American government spends on Board X-37B research accelerator Hall effect, built by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The engine Hall effect is considered as another promising source of thrust, so at the moment his research deals with NASA. By the way, the development of a Hall thruster engines in the USSR were conducted from 1972, the year and serial production is conducted since 1984. These engines are typically used as corrective. The current version of the NASA engine is able to create a force of 60 mn per kilowatt of capacity, which is much more opportunity EM Drive. But the engine Aerojet Rocketdyne is also working on fuel, so it does not solve the problem of future missions, which can create precisely the fuel jet engines.
What do today bring? In fact, evidence that on Board the X-37B is really being tested EM Drive, there is little, so the only option left is waiting for any official statements governing bodies.
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