Elon Musk and NASA have been working together for some time now in their shared ambition to explore the depths of space, and with the successful testing of this new engine they are one step closer to realizing their ambition. After years of experimentation, they have unveiled a light speed engine that is faster than anything ever seen in the aerospace industry.
However, this engine stands out from the competition because it can endure the meteorite ordeal and travel successfully to Mars. One of the issues with space travel is that there are various viewpoints in the scientific community on the capability of the new Light Speed engine.
By the year 2050, Elon Musk hopes to enable successful human travel to Mars. Elon has a history of producing results, so NASA is collaborating with him to make that happen. However, the idea of space travel has been fraught with difficulties, particularly a trip to Mars, the fourth planet in our solar system.
Need For Light Speed Engine
Since it would take at least seven months for a rocket traveling at 15,000 miles per hour to reach Mars, which is located an average of 140 million miles from Earth, today’s rockets use methane as their primary fuel rather than the kerosene used in the past. For a successful trip, this fuel must be prepared in advance and loaded onto the rocket before it departs Earth.
However, how much fuel would a rocket that uses 11,000 pounds of fuel per second need in terms of space and fuel?
The answer is a lot, and this is taken into account when developing a rocket to carry out such a risky mission. When designing spacecraft, it is important to balance the craft’s weight and fuel efficiency.
If you were to examine the existing Starship for the special voyage to Mark, the majority of the compartments that contribute to the Craft’s weight would be reserved for holding fuel and supplies, leaving only a small section for the astronauts. The spaceship is 120 meters above the ground and has 33 Raptor engines, which can endure a thrust of 5,00,000 pounds.
Problems With The Light Speed Engine
Even though the engine is built to be fuel-efficient, it will still be challenging to have enough fuel for a trip to and from Mars. This explains why the successful Mars missions up until this point have all been robotic missions using lighter rockets because there was no need for astronauts to use extra fuel or supplies needed for a crewed mission.
Even a person like Elon Musk understands that there is a bumpy road ahead as he said such a journey will be dangerously cramped and difficult and would require additional fuel added to an already heavy vehicle and increased costs. If they were to use Arrow braking to insert the rocket into Mars orbit safely.
The Light Speed Engine
The new engine’s potential is often chemical. The third rule of motion, which stipulates that the action and reaction forces are equal in size and opposite in direction, is the foundation upon which rockets are built.
Since they all rely on thrusters to produce thrust, this theory is supported by the Falcon 9 space shuttle and the current Starship in production. When fuel like methane and oxygen are combined in a combustion shaper, the resulting hot exhaust typically gashes the skin. A nozzle is used to direct steam and water to speed up takeoff.
Significance Of Light Speed Engine
However, this light speed engine aims to break the rules that have been in place for a very long time. According to the laws of spatial relativity, it will move without a propellant. things get heavier as they get closer to light speed.
The engine works by enclosing ions in a loop, accelerating them to moderate speeds, and altering their velocities just enough to change the ions’ masses.
The engine will take a helical structure, similar to a stretched out string, and have no moving parts except from the ions trapped inside electric and magnetic fields, which will be moved back and forth in one direction to provide the required thrust.
This light speed engine plans to use the controversial electromagnetic drive, a technology, to generate thrust without the usage of fuel. David Goodwin observed that any rocket may be propelled faster and farther into space than any other propulsion system ever employed if the vibration from the electromagnetic or ions can be routed in one direction.
It might develop a powerful propulsion system that can travel at speeds that are just a tenth of the speed of light.
Propellant-free propulsion is not a novel idea; in 1990, Goodwin directed a NASA project that pioneered the field of propulsion physics with the goal of developing a propellant-free propulsion mechanism.
In reality, Roger Shoyer created the first device demonstrating how the concept of a reactionless drive might function in 2001.
Why are scientists opposed to the new LightSpeed engine if it has such great promise and can enable Humanity to explore the High Heavens?
Scientists from the UK, the US, and China have shown how electromagnetic propulsion would function since the first demonstration in 2001, but detractors argue that this does not mean it is time to celebrate because it is unclear how the propulsion would be used in practise since the earlier tests were not carried out in a vacuum.
If these studies measuring a little effect of the device were to be judged important, it could result in measurement errors and uncertainty before the project can even get off the ground because you cannot ionize particles in a quantum vacuum and as a result cannot generate energy.
The EM Drive
We must take into account the expense of employing an EM drive, which would necessitate substantial research and be very expensive. It has already received $5 million from NASA, and it is impossible to predict how much more will be required to complete the engine.
In order to achieve momentum in rocketry without a catalyst, as is tried by this engine, one must violate the law of conversion of momentum, which states that an object’s momentum remains constant in the absence of an external force.
Because the concept of momentum conversion is well-established in physics, it doesn’t seem feasible that this new engine will exceed the bounds of accepted physics, which apply to all known forms of motion.
Would the rocket be able to survive the meteorite ordeal as well?
A meteorite travels at a speed of 120000 miles per second toward the Earth’s atmosphere. When it makes contact with air molecules there, it ignites violently and burns up before it reaches the ground.
Now that we are aware that a meteorite is made of cosmic rocks that are strong enough to survive entry into Earth, the question is whether a rocket with an EM drive could withstand the same impact. If the rocket were to travel at the speed of light, it might burn up upon return, which would not be desirable.
Additionally, in order to slow down the descent during previous Mars landings, rockets had to be fired toward the ground. If the new rocket does not intend to use thrusters, how will the rocket carry out a successful landing?
To the delight of skeptics, a team from Dresden University led by Martin Tashmar demonstrated a flaw in the new LightSpeed engine. The atmosphere on Mars is dense enough to burn the rocket upon entry and the spacecraft needs to have the proper propulsion system to avoid that.
A practical Lightspeed engine may not be possible, according to the test results, which suggested that the thrust may not be coming from the EM drive but from some other electromagnetic interaction. The research claimed to have found some errors that other studies had missed.
However, NASA has been able to refute other researchers’ skepticism. In a series of tests at Eagleworks Laboratory, researchers on a NASA-funded study examined an em drive in conditions resembling those in deep space. The results of these tests revealed a Thrust to Power ratio that was one to four times higher than any predicted value for the drive.
When talking about space, we may cooperate and consider new ideas. The EM Drive was also defended by Roger Sure, who said that the widely praised negative tests were based on a defective design and could not be taken seriously in light of the conflicting views and testing conducted on the drive.
From all of this, it is obvious that perfecting the engine would require Elon Musk and NASA to work with every ounce of creativity and experimentation. However, it is impossible to completely rule it out as a viable option for space travel.
It will be one of Humanity’s most significant strides toward becoming a multi-planetary species when it is finished, if they can muster that much.