Nov 27 2014

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The Woodward engine

An alternative to rocket engines. Very interesting article on the Woodward effect and its possible implications to satellite station keeping and space travel.

James Woodward, Ph.D., and Heidi Fearn, Ph.D., have been working on this for years, and have 2 patents on it. I admit this is the first I’ve heard of it, but it seems like a perfectly good idea theoretically. They’re investigating scaling up the engine:

Woodward engine

I do think this is a practical solution for satellite station keeping, but I’m not sure it can be scaled up enough to replace rocket travel, primarily because it is a mechanical engine — basically acting like a piston. Moving parts eventually break…though if one had a 3D printer on one’s ship, that may not be insurmountable.

Here’s the Wiki page on the Woodward effect. Very interesting…

Admin note: I’ll be umpiring Friday through Sunday. I’ll be blogging as I can, but it’ll be sporadically hit or miss until Monday.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/11/27/the-woodward-engine/

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