The Engine That Could: Roger Shawyer's EmDrive


In 2001, Roger Shawyer designed the EmDrive: an engine for space travel that could theoretically run forever. Not surprisingly, people thought the idea was impossible.

Image by EmDrive

Shawyer’s design used microwave technology to create thrust from electrical energy, eliminating the need for propellant. This meant it could continue running forever, no stopping for interstellar gas stations, as long as the mechanical parts of the engine didn’t break down.

Fast forward to 2009. Chinese scientists tested the engine and determined that it actually worked. Now, American scientists are testing it as well and coming to the same conclusion. Shawyer’s Impossible Engine, which people originally dismissed, could end up shaping the future of space exploration.

Shawyer’s engine became a reality because he stood by his idea. When he developed the theory, members of the scientific community brushed it aside it because it was “impossible”. Regardless, Shawyer and his team continued to work on the engine for over a decade. They stayed committed to improving space travel technology.

Sometimes you have to defy the odds to create your success. We’re sending a huge hat tip to Roger Shawyer. It’s people like him that inspire us to keep innovating and keep supporting those who do the same.