I ended up being up until 4:45. During that time I wrote another chapter for Tales From The Rufus and played some WoW, but otherwise did not get much done. When I finally turned in I had to get back up to take half a tab of Xanax. (Panic attacks do not care what time it is.)
As is typical for a middle aged man I did not sleep through, but I slept, even so. I had a bizzare dream in which I was visiting a resale shop that had its own reality show, and for some reason I'd stolen a ziplock back full of gold coins. I'd left the shop to go home, but I'd parked the Jeep on a hill and the parking pawl in the transmission had failed, and I found it just as it was sinking into a swamp. I had to go back inside to have them call for a tow truck (from a tow company which had its own reality show, no less) and while I was waiting they discovered the set of the owner's keys that I'd abandoned in the commission of my crime, which led the staff to realize that the gold had been stolen (though not yet by whom) rather than simply misplaced, as they'd been thinking. This was more or less where I woke up.
Morals of the story: 1) crime doesn't pay. 2) throw the keys in the swamp. 3) always use your parking brake on hills. 4) there are too many goddamned reality shows on TV.
Anyway, here I am. I have things to do!
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More discussion about the Emdrive including Jerry Pournelle's thoughts on the Dean Drive.
D-Lamp notes, however, there is reason for hope that this is real. The guy who created this new drive was a NASA engineer who kept noticing that satellites drifted off course in the direction opposite their microwave emissions. This put him, I guess, on to the idea that microwaves could provide thrust.Well, of course they can. Microwaves are photons, and photons have momentum; someone figured out that the anomalous acceleration of the Voyager spacecraft was due to infrared photons being emitted by their radiothermal power modules.
It is not a lot of acceleration, but it is there.
If you have a satellite hanging there in space, and you're constantly beaming a microwave signal out of one end, that is going to change its orbit. It is not going to change it by much on any particular day, but after a while it will add up.
...I am hoping that Ace is referring to anomalous acceleration, which is to say acceleration which is greater than that which would be anticipated from merely beaming a microwave signal out of one side of the satellite 24/7.
I'm skeptical about the "reactionless drive" tests that have been done. I'd be very happy for this to be real, and not a problem with the experiment or something else, so my skepticism is not hostile, but I do agree with Pournelle and a lot of the other folks--until we can see this thing operating in space and accelerating under its own power, it's going to be a hard sell.
They call 'em the laws of motion for a reason. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction" is not a suggestion.
Eventually we will lick the problem; of that I have no doubt. I'd be ecstatic if we licked it in the 21st century rather than 3982 AD. Time will tell if that's the case or not.
But I do hope it is.
* * *
This is why I'm fixing computers rather than writing technical manuals. It's much cheaper for a corporation to hire someone from India, and pay him "minimum" wage, than it is for the same corporation to hire an American. That's why they do it; that's why big tech companies all pay lobbyists a great deal of money to keep the H1B visas flowing.
It is not because there are all these highly technical jobs that Americans cannot or will not do.
* * *
And now I have projects to attend to.