NASA Marshall Space Flight Engineer has developed an alternative to traditional space rocket propellant. This is a huge, spiral-shaped engine powered by a particle accelerator. Dr. Burns describes the controversial and highly experimental device as a "spiral engine."
The director of the Marshall Space Flight Center proposed the idea in a series of slides published on the space agency's technical reports server.
He wrote: "This space engine can be used for long-term maintenance of satellite stations without charging.
"It can also propel a spacecraft at stellar distances, reaching close to the speed of light."
The design is based on a simple experiment used to describe the third law of motion of the brilliant scientist Isaac Newton that every action has equal and opposite reaction.
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Instead, Dr. Burns proposes pushing an accelerator particle rather than gravity ̵
Thus, when the rotating ion ring hits the front of the compartment, it produces a forward acceleration.
NASA scientist suggests that if its spiral motor is provided with sufficient time and power, it can reach potentially extraordinary speeds assisted by a particle accelerator.
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The idea is recognized as controversial, with many in the field extremely skeptical about this idea.
Dr. Burns admits to New Scientist: "I'm comfortable throwing it.
" If someone says it doesn't work, I'll be the first to say it's worth a shot. "
] First, the design will be able to generate enough momentum in space, completely without friction.  READ MORE: NASA Chief Reveals Nuclear "Changeover Player"
If it were on Earth, it would need a ton of energy – about 125 megawatts, enough energy to power a small town – to achieve only a newton of energy, the same amount of power that is needed to enter a keyboard.
The brake particle accelerator will additionally have to be huge.
Dr. Burns believes that to create true speed, it will need to be approximately 65 feet (20 m) long and 40 feet (13 m) transverse.
For reference, the International Space Station (ISS) is nearly 330 feet (100 m) long.
As Dr. Burns suggests in the proposal, this would make a good option for powering large spacecraft.
There are a number of problems that make his engine designs difficult to use in space.
The largest of these is that the engine is extremely inefficient and likely to violate the laws of conservation of inertia.