Re: Project Orion Reborn.

Posted by
Wayne Smith on Feb 11, 2004 at 01:55

Re: Project Orion Reborn. (Pasti)

"I know it was never finished."

I mean't that it didn't end when Project Orion was cancelled.

"Look, I worked in plasma physics for three years in my "youth", both on cold plasmas(including ablation and chemical plasmas), and on hot plasmas - confined tokamak type, not nuclear."

Not nuclear. Right.

"At least principially,they could have used a cannon to prove the ideea."

Yes, yes, so you keep saying. We all know you could have done a much better job. A pity you weren't available.

It was Evert, Everet, something similar.

Cornelius Everett never even worked on the project. The propulsion system advocated for the Orion spacecraft was based on an idea first put forward by Stanislaw Ulam and Cornelius Everett in a classified paper in 1955. That's where his input finished. A patent.

"Suffices to say that for the dynamite propelled thing they really didn't need theorists."

Correct and the theorists didn't have much involvement with it. The engineers worked hard to complete it before the experimentalists could get involved.

"As for the nuclear part, they didn't exactly get there."

Listen. I've said this several times and it still hasn't registered so I'll say it again. The model wasn't originally part of the program. It was a last minute addition just to impress the twits in charge of funding. Several calls were made to request material tests during nuclear weapons tests. The first I think was 3 large steel spheres suspended in the air 3 metres from the centre of a nuclear blast. They were later found perfectly intact but for a few millimetres of ablation.

"Granted, they took more time than nowdays, but they were not exactly complicated."

Wow, I didn't realise you had intimate knowledge of the classified work done. All I have is the declassified material.

"For the time being, your only argument has been that it is the only idea that would help in achieving space travel."

It is the only option for manned space travel. That in itself is sufficient reason to revive it.

"This is unreasonable.Technologically.And financially.And against common sense."

People like you once said the same thing about a round earth. Orion is perfectly reasonable, the technology is feasible and those familiar with the concept believed it was the only common sense solution.

"Huh?What benefits?What can one launch of one big ship do?"

It can carry the industrial infrastructure necessary to maintain a permanent foothold in space. Everything necessary to mine, refine and utilise space resources.

"You forget these things have to be refueled."

I haven't forgotten anything. Uranium isn't restricted to the earth.

"I gave you arguments, but you have ignored them.Your choice."

I haven't ignored your concerns. Atleast not intentionally. Please point out which arguments have gone unanswered. I may have passed over a few comments that seemed obvious.

"We have "conquered" it 30 years ago,and to what avail?"

We didn't conquer anything. How many was it? Six short visits to our satellite. That isn't conquering space. Apollo wasted a million dollars a day. It was the worst thing that ever happened to space exploration. Was probably a major influential cause of the following recession. Every spare dollar was redirected from other programs including Orion. It murdered the space age.

"With the actual technology one could build a much better and faster ship than the Orion, and actually do travel into space."

That has been the mantra for the last 30 odd years. NASA's would love to hear you say that. Their philosophy is to just keep throwing money at their stupid programs until the damn things work. For the cost of the ISS we could have colonised the entire solar system several times over. We don't have any other technology and guess what. There isn't going to be any.

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