Controversial Physics-Defying Quantum Drive Appears To Be Lost In Space

Controversial Physics-Defying Quantum Drive Appears To Be Lost In Space


An experimental quantum drive is missing and presumed lost in space, after the team lost communication with the satellite it was supposed to move. 

Rogue Space Systems launched the satellite Barry-1 into orbit in November 2023, hitching a lift from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Unfortunately, the company’s first space mission did not all go to plan.

“We had ongoing power-system issues on the bus through LEOP (Launch and Early Orbit Phase),” the team explained in an update, “and after two months of operations, towards the end of LEOP, we lost communication with the satellite”.

According to the team, contact was lost before they were able to test their controversial IVO drive, named after IVO Ltd who developed it. The plan was to move the cubesat using the IVO drive, demonstrating that it could provide thrust.

The drive is touted as a “reactionless drive”, a hypothetical device that causes thrust without propellant. Such a device would be revolutionary, helping us to reach far-off destinations in space faster and without massive amounts of propellant. 

There have been attempts to create such devices, with some such as the EmDrive claiming to have produced a small amount of thrust. But such devices are highly controversial as they appear to contravene the law of conservation of momentum, and every action having an equal and opposite reaction. Later teams trying to replicate the mysterious thrust created by the EmDrive found that it could all be explained with normal physics, and a thermal effect.

“With the aid of a new measuring scale structure and different suspension points of the same engine, we were able to reproduce apparent thrust forces similar to those measured by the NASA team, but also to make them disappear by means of a point suspension,” the team explained to German website GrenzWissenschaft-Aktuell

“When power flows into the EmDrive, the engine warms up. This also causes the fastening elements on the scale to warp, causing the scale to move to a new zero point. We were able to prevent that in an improved structure. Our measurements refute all EmDrive claims by at least 3 orders of magnitude.”

IVO are tight-lipped about how their own drive works, though they claim it can produce 52 millinewtons of thrust per 1 watt of electricity. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and with the IVO drive lost in space, and the laws of physics still doing their thing, it seems unlikely we’ll get that any time soon. 

[H/T: Futurism]


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