Re: Project Orion Reborn.

Posted by Uncle Al on Feb 06, 2004 at 13:23

Re: Project Orion Reborn. (Wayne Smith.)

Project Orion was/is/will always be an intensely stupid idea.

  1. A minimum of 50% of the energy is simply thrown away for pointing in the wrong direction.

  2. The efficiency of coupling to the remaining 50% (silly dream even that) to the spacecraft is trivially small. Spacecraft thrust is change of momentum. It doesn't change its momentum unless it tosses mass.

  3. Optimum rocket performance, energy vs. momentum.

  4. The Starflight Handbook, Mallove and Matloff, 1989, pp. 61-66. Project Orion is a stupid idea. A flight test called "Put-Put" flew to a whopping 200 feet propelled by five high explosive stages. Had the same chemistry been solid propellant, it would have lofted to at least 1000 ft.

  5. Nuclear device debris is damning. What kind of dirt trail will popping 50 or 500 nukes leave?

  6. Hit your thumb with a hammer. Extrapolate to your butt and a nuclear bomb thruster. Rinse, repeat.

Uncle Al
(Do something naughty to physics)

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