Category Archives: Exotic Propulsion

SSI Begins Releasing the Videos of the 2016 Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop

Update Dec 20th: All of the videos are now online at the SSI YouTube Channel! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the direct video links.

September 20th – 22nd 2016 the Space Studies Institute was proud to present The Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop at Estes Park – three days of cutting edge Science and Engineering in the Rockies.

The videos of the presentations are done, and we are proud to announce that we are now releasing them day by day a few at a time and inviting you to view them all in their original order.

I will freely admit to our SSI family that as we were packing up the microphones and tripods for the trip to record the Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop I was a tiny bit worried. The physicists and engineers at this gathering  are the tops in this niche field and their work is truly at the cutting edge.  I thought people who spend their days and nights working out ways to coax radical theories into obtuse mathematics into useful machines might be beyond mere mortal’s comprehension and even somewhat incapable of small talk over breakfast cereal.

But after only the first few sessions, the truth was clear: These people are not eccentric Doc Browns in tinfoil hats or evil geniuses out to trick with fluff and flash. They aren’t slick suits with get-rich-quick-selling-quantum-foam promises.  They’re professionals.  And while they are truly, deeply passionate about their work and they do speak a language that uses Greek symbols as verbs, they, as you’ll see in most of the videos, give pretty clear explanations of their areas of expertise.  They know how to make these subjects make sense to each other.  And now, to us.

I do not mean that the workshop was a high school breeze, but I firmly believe that if you to start at the beginning and put your attention into these presentations the parts that might seem too far ahead by their titles will begin to flow in and the whole will truly add up to a better grasp of these “advanced” topics.

Over the decades, the subject of propellantless propulsion has been called heretical and treated as taboo by some members of the technical community.  Even President Gary admits that it’s worrisome to some of our membership.   But here’s the thing – for the human race to become a truly space-faring civilization, some type of technology with direct ties to the presentations at this workshop will be required.  We wanted to take a measured step towards this goal

To guard against distractions that a conventional conference can potentially allow, the Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop was held in a remote site far from disturbing cellphone signals.  We met in a small room where the chairs were all at the same level.  The people who are actually doing the hands-on work – those best able to spot the devils in each other’s details – were eyeball to eyeball of each other.

There may be some presentations that you don’t think you’ll be interested in, but we hope that you’ll suppress any urge to cherry pick.  My own experience proved to me that watching every single presentation ended up giving the very best experience. In fact, there were two sessions that hadn’t seemed to be up my alley that ended up really catching me.

It is our hope that no matter what your current level of experience is in these topics, you will come away after watching them with a more complete view of the current state of the art of these real-world technologies. SSI volunteers lugged loads of equipment to Estes Park, Colorado to make sure that this important gathering was documented. It was Gary’s order that we just let the cameras roll and put the viewer into the group as equals, and we believe we have accomplished this goal.

SSI was very proud to be a part of the Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop at Estes Park, September 20th to 22nd, 2016, and we hope that you will make the time in your busy schedule to learn from these dedicated, serious, funny, brilliant and excellent presenters.

An announcement of the availability of the printed and electronic proceedings will be coming soon.  Please keep checking for updates and to get alerts as they happen, LIKE the Space Studies Institute on Facebook now at

To view the growing complete list of workshop videos, click here!

President Hudson on The Space Show tomorrow morning

SSI President Gary Hudson
SSI President Gary Hudson

[[UPDATE: If you missed the show… you didn’t!  To hear/download this Space Show episode with Gary, read the details and even make comments, you can click this link.]]

Tomorrow, Friday October 14th, at 9:30am pacific/12:30pm eastern, SSI President Gary C Hudson will be making his seventh appearance on Dr. David Livingston’s The Space Show.  The special emphasis of this broadcast will be the latest information on SSI’s Exotic Propulsion Initiative.

Taking place just weeks after the Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop in Estes Park, Colorado, this should be a very interesting discussion on this controversial technological subject.

It’s going to be a live show with Gary on the phone and you’ll be  invited to call in or email your questions on this important topic – or any other SSI projects.

To visit the Space Show page for this broadcast, click here.

For the page in information on Listening Live to The Space Show, click here.

Making Starships and Stargates by Dr. James Woodward
Making Starships and Stargates by Dr. James Woodward

If you’re new to the concepts of Advanced “Exotic” Propulsion, you can check out The Space Show’s archived presentation of the September 18th episode that featured taped interviews from AIAA Space 2016 with Steve Jolly, Tim Cichan, Dr. James Woodward, Dr. Heidi Fearn and John Hunt .


Plus, we just uploaded this new video to the SSI YouTube Channel: Gary’s opening remarks from the Estes Park Workshop.

[SSI and the organizers of the 2016 Breakthrough Propulsion Workshop are diligently working on the rest of the videos and the printed proceedings.  More information on the official release schedule will be coming soon!]


SSI at Exotic Propulsion Workshop

This week, SSI is very proud to be with Dr. James Woodward, Dr Heidi Fearn, Dr José Rodal  and, basically, the top minds in advanced “exotic” propulsion.

This is a by-invitation gathering and there is very limited connectivity way up here in the Rockies so we’ll have to wait for the end of the meeting to post.  But we assure you that there is a LOT more information to come…

Here are some helpful links:

Michelle Broyles and Gary Hudson at The Workshop
At the Exotic Propulsion Workshop, NSF’s Michelle “SeeShells” Broyles and SSI President Gary Hudson. To learn more about Michelle’s work, see the page


9-22 UPDATE:  Near the end of the final day we looked out the window and saw a double rainbow so most of the group ran outside to get this picture.

Truly it was a special week.  Many, many thanks to everyone for making it all work out.  Jim, Heidi, Lance, Robin, Anne, EVERYONE THANK YOU!

Now the process of going through the A/V and papers to make proceedings begins, and SSI will post updates as we get them.

Happy flights home everyone!

Exotic Propulsion Update

Emeritus Professor Jim Woodward and Professor Heidi Fearn
Emeritus Professor Jim Woodward and Professor Heidi Fearn, photo by Charles Platt

It’s time for a brief update on our Exotic Propulsion Initiative.

As you know, for a few years now SSI has supported the efforts of the Woodward-Fearn Lab at CalState Fullerton’s Physics Department. We’ve helped fund two interns (one in 2014 and one this year) and we also provide minor support for equipment and supplies. Progress is nevertheless slow since adequate funding has been a challenge, but we want to take this opportunity to thank all the donors to date, who have contributed over $23,000 so far.

Most particularly, we’d like to acknowledge the fund-raising efforts of Henri Heinonen who provided the Exotic Propulsion Initiative with more than $5,000 via his Bitcoin Utopia campaign!

All of these generous contributions have contributed to four recent papers:

Theory of a Mach Effect Thruster I

Theory of a Mach Effect Thruster II

New Theoretical Results for the Mach Effect Thruster

Mach’s principle, Action at a Distance and Cosmology
H. Fearn, Journal of Modern Physics, 2015, 6, 260-272

(In which Professor Fearn refutes Hawking!)

On the technical side of things, the Woodward Lab is working on experiments relating to the explanation of thrust for devices like ME Thrusters and EMdrive (being studied at NASA Johnson Space Flight Center’s Eagleworks lab). Results should be publishable in a few months. And responding to what are termed “over unity” arguments against propellant propulsion devices of all types, Professor Woodward has written this monograph:

Over-Unity Argument & Mach Effect Thrusters

Please enjoy.