Re: Project Orion Reborn.

Posted by
Wayne Smith on Feb 12, 2004 at 17:03

Re: Project Orion Reborn. (Amaranth Rose)

Yes, the soybean flies off into space but the elastic band doesn't. It isn't a closed system like the Hammer Rocket. The energy recoils back and forth until its spent by friction and heat dissipation. Each time it recoils it pulls the drum backwards cancelling out the beat. This is a great school experiment for explaining why mass must be thrown away to impart velocity. When unattached mass flies off into space the object it flies away from gets that same energy. Like a shotgun giving you a kick in the shoulder. There is no way to propel a rocket without expending mass. Even if that mass is froom outside the system like with a laser launcher. It's still free mass exerting an equal and opposite force.

To make up for the low mass of rocket exhaust compared to the huge mass of the vehicle we try to send that mass flying away as fast as possible. Explosive hydrogen with an oxygen accelerant has proven convenient. The best chemical engine today is a shuttle booster and its performance is measured in seconds. They can manage 450 seconds. An Orion might manage 100,000 seconds or more. The bigger we build it the greater the performance and simpler the construction.

Project Orion

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