Lots of attention has been focused on the EM Drive, a device that its proponent's claim produces thrust by generating microwaves in an enclosed Space. However, a similar device, the Cannae Drive, invented by Guido Fetta, may be headed to space, according to a piece in Popular Mechanics.

Cannae Inc., the company that Fetta created to develop and market the Cannae Drive, intends to launch a model attached to a CubeSat, a shoebox-sized satellite, to see if it works under real world conditions.

If the test works, another company Fetta has formed along with LAI International of Tempe, Arizona and SpaceQuest Ltd. of Fairfax, Virginia, will offer Cannae Drive thrusters for purveyors of satellites, Station keeping thrusters that do not need propellant would, in theory, extend the lives of satellites. When satellites run out of propellant, they become space junk.

To say that technology such as the Cannae Drive and the EM Drive are controversial is putting the matter mildly.

Most scientists believe that propellantless drives violate fundamental laws of physics, though some have suggested that advanced physics may explain why they work. A report has serviced that a group of engineers as NASA’s Eagleworks will soon publish a peer-reviewed paper, but this has not been confirmed. In the meantime, experiments at Eagleworks, as well as Great Britain, Germany, and China report thrust that cannot, at least so far, be explained by experimental error.

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The argument over whether the Em Drive and the Cannae Drive works or not will likely not be resolved so long as the technology remains in the laboratory. Fetta is performing a valuable service in his attempt to test his device in space. If it works, then the question will be answered and a new technology not imagined outside of “Star Trek” will become available to aerospace engineers. Of course, if it doesn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board for people who believe that they are on to a game-changing technology.

So far a launch date has not been announced for the first space test of the Cannae Drive.

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