Tiangong II

I just saw an ad today for an airline, I believe it was China Air but it doesn’t really matter, saying “We make flying exciting again” and I thought “Who wants flying to be exciting?” When I get onto a plane, I want it to feel like a long and tedious bus ride, with a meal. If I want excitement, I’ll bring a book.

There is a rumor going around that the Chinese have perfected an “EM” drive, and I’m guessing that stands for electro-magnetic, although I’m not sure. It has something to do with shooting particles around a tube which is narrow at one end than the other, but you’re going to have to look elsewhere for a more technical explanation.

I’m a bit skeptical about the story for a couple of reasons.
1. It sounds too good to be true. This would cut travel time to Mars down by more than half, and start to make even interstellar travel sound possible. I know some in the West are worried, because it’s the Chinese, but I say bring it on. White people have dominated the planet for the last 4 or 5,000 years or so, and mucked it up properly. Somebody else’s turn.
2. It seems I’ve heard this rumor before. In fact, that would explain why it’s called the Tiangong II and not just Tiangong, but if Tiangong (senior) had accomplished this successfully, it would have been front page news.

So, as with all things of modern provenance, we will have to wait and see. Good luck to us all.

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