Thursday, June 26, 2008

Project Orion Test Video

@wiki Project Orion was the first engineering design study of a spacecraft powered by nuclear pulse propulsion, an idea first proposed by StanisÅ‚aw Ulam in 1947. The project, initiated in 1958, was led by Ted Taylor at General Atomics and physicist Freeman Dyson, who at Taylor's request took a year away from Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study to work on the project. The first such think-tank of its kind since the Manhattan Project, Project Orion is recalled by many of its team as representing the best years of their lives.[citation needed] By using energetic nuclear power, Orion offered both high thrust and high specific impulse — the holy grail of spacecraft propulsion. It offered performance greater than the most advanced conventional or nuclear rocket engines now under study. Cheap interplanetary travel was the goal of the Orion Project. Its supporters felt that it had great potential for space travel, but it lost political approval because of concerns with fallout from its propulsion. The Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 is generally acknowledged to have ended the project.

7 comments:

mr wiggles said...

is this similar yo the idea you had for digging a hole to the center of the earth? One nuke right after the other?

cybrbeast said...

Yes slightly, only this goes the other way, up, up and away!

Annom said...

It's super cool!

Fuck fall-out!

cybrbeast said...

Freeman Dyson calculated that the fallout from one launch would only cause 0.1 to 1 fatal cancers. Many pollution sources cause much more on a daily basis...

Annom said...

Did you read any specific value for the specific impulse? I can't find it and I want to know.

cybrbeast said...

It's under the heading performance in the wiki article.

Annom said...

Ah, missed that.

Some quick calculations, with the numbers mentioned on wiki, show that it could reach a velocity (change) of 100-20000 km/s. 20000 km/s needs a huge spaceship with megaton bombs.

That's 7% of the speed of light.