Re: Project Orion Reborn(cont'd)

Posted by Pasti on Feb 14, 2004 at 02:12

Re: Project Orion Reborn(cont'd) (Wayne Smith)

"With a view to living off the land we don't need to be totally self sufficient."

What land will you live on?You just said the contraption doesn't need to land, spaceshuttles are small because it is self-sufficient,so what land?

"The primary objective is to set up industrial facilities so a permanent foothold in space can be maintained. No flag ceremony and a quick death. Deep space habitats and shipyards are the goal. Bases for refueling and construction of other ships."

How?100,000 tonns of material to build a fleet of ships from mining?Be serious.

"Hydrogen bombs."

The number does not change very much, even with fusion bombs.Remember, you said you want supplies on the ship for long term.

"Soil and sunlight do exist off earth."

But air doesn't. And don't tell me about hydroponics on the craft.

"About 100,000 tons payload should more than comfortably take care of that."

This is about the size of a tanker.I doubt you can fit everything on it.You need something much bigger.

"Rubbish. Each crew member could have their own room. They could take along a swimming pool and fill it up after the ship starts cruising and enough centrifugal gravity is created from spinning the vehicle. Each night a Turkey or side of beef could be thawed from one of the freezers. Compared to a Saturn V it's a luxury liner."

Yap, what you say is pure rubbish.You have seen to many movies and have too little kowledge.

"Asteroids have virtually zero gravity and are way too small to land on. Why on earth would you suggest such a daft idea. You need only match velocities, stabilise its spin and use shuttles. A lot of material can just be sent over by ropes. Hollowing out asteroids isn't difficult. Check out the permanent website for details."

Children play to land a mammoth on an asteroid, or to match the motion of the ship with the asteroid.Do yourself a favor.Interview a pilot who has done in flight refuling, and ask him how easy it is to do it. Rescale then the problem for a sluggish ship and a mildly spinning top.After you did that,we can talk again about mining an asteroid.

"You are still thinking in terms of chemical rocket limitations. I realise that those big fireworks are more difficult to construct as you scale them up but you have to try and understand that the opposite rule applies to Orions. The bigger they are the better."

I am tempted to give you the benefit of the doubt, although I think you are wrong.Show me some calculations on the subject,rough estimates would do fine.Not yjust numbers out of the blue, calculations and estimations. We can then analize them.

"I have no fixed plan for scale. The plan is to determine the ideal payload mass and then scale the Orion to comfortably manage such a payload. Then pulse units can later be scaled to suit the Orion(hopefully)."

This is the only statement that you made up to this moment that actually makes some sense.But be very careful, things do not always scale with the size.

"Not me. George Dyson told me. You would have to ask him about the source."

George Dyson?Since when is he an expert in any branch of science?Just being Dyson's son doesn't mean science just bushed onto him.He has maybe his dad's papers, or some of them, but I doubt he can make too much sense of them on his own.
I have my dad's books of medicine, and this doesn't make me a second Barnard.Not even an MD.Not even a paramedic.
So George Dyson's statements are not something I would trust too much.

"Still thinking in terms of chemical rocket technology."

Gravitation has nothing to do, at least for the time being, with the propulsion mechanism.Neither does weight.So the heavier the object, the more power you need to move it against gravitation.
You might want a larger ship so you don't have to rescale the fusion bombs, but you still have to use more power with increasing weight of the ship.It's physics, you cannot change it.

"So sad. I don't think you are capable of grasping this concept at all."

I am glad you did.

"That's rich coming from someone as ignorant as you."

I am a physicist, unfortunately for you.And if I am as ignorant as you say, you realize what that makes you?

"That's how I feel. Oh boy...this guy has no clue. As your ignorance surfaces your comments seem to be getting increasingly sarcastic."

Of course I am getting sarcastic, when someone who does not have the slightest scientific knowledge come with such bull.
I gave you quite precise directions to calculate the penetration depth for X-rays and gamma rays in steel, to see why the stucture won't screen the crew, in spite of the fact that the intensity of radiation falls off inversely proportional with the square of the distance.You haven't even attempted to do it, but you continue to preach what you heard from the others that the structure will provide adequate screening.
So you have less knowledge in science than a 3rd year science college student,but you claim others are ignorant, just because you wrote some articles in some obscure internet magazine.Good one pal!

"Does your car engine melt? No? Why not? Because it operates on pulse technology."

Your mind operates on pulse technology, but sadly, the pulses are rather rare.Among others, the car engine doesn't melt becaouse of the engine's cooling system.Which is calculated to cool down to certain limits the piston casings, and the pistons themselves through contact, and the engine block,etc.But do yourself another favor:go to a junkyard, and take a look to the pistons of car, anf to the casings.They are blue, even if you scrap off the ash from the pistons.Take a micrometr, measure the pistons and compare your measurements to the factory specs.Let me know what you find.

"Orion is like a flying piston. The heat from a nuclear detonation is so shortlived that it dissipates from the plate before the next heat wave arrives."

This is fallacy by inadequate comparison.The piston is moved not by the explosion per se, but by the expanion of the gas in the chamber under the heat of the explosion (which btw is a rather mild explosion since the nominal mixture is something around 16 parts of air to 1 part of gas).And the design of the engine is such that there are no shock waves in the chamber, otherwise your engine would last no more than a few minutes.
On the other hand, your contraption, and the original Orion design is based exactly upon motion under the pressure wave created by the explosion in the air. And since a nuclear explosion is inflationarey and in more than one stage I might add (depends on the bomb actually),don't bet that the plasma will touch the ship only for negligible time.During liftoff the entire ship will me engulfed by the nuclear plasma at every explosion since the pressure waves have a much larger velocity than the escape velocity.

Moreover, and since you are such a knowledgeable individual, you should also know that sine in open space there is NO AIR, the nuclear explosion cannot produce any pressure waves, so any moment transferred to the ship by an explosion is due only to the ejection of the bomb and to the impact with the debris from the explosion and byproducts.I have been waiting for sometime for you to mention this fact, but you didn't. So I will spell it for you:THE ORION PROPULSION SYSTEM CANNOT WORK IN OPEN/DEEP SPACE.It works only to put a ship into orbit,since it is based on the existence of an atmosphere, of air.Why do you think, you genius, that all tests with nuclear weapons have been done in the atmosphere, whether upper or lower,and just a few above the atmosphere?Because outside the atmosphere the bomb looses all its efficiency, it only produces radiation and a few kg of high energy atoms and other particles.
So, as I stated from the beginning, the project is doomed to failure.

"A laser on the other hand is continuous for all intents and purposes."

Only in your ignorant mind. All high power lasers are pulsed lasers,exactly because of the high power, which in continuous wave would melt the active medium, the laser medium, if you know what that is.

"Orion doesn't even need a cooling system. Another reason why its a lot simpler in design."

No, it actually needs a propulsion system for deep space, see above.

"It's clear to me now that you have absolutely no idea about this topic. I've met school kids with a better understanding."

Maybe because school kids are at the same level of ignorance in science as you are,courtesy the educational system.Instead of blaiming your ignorance, to put it very mildly, on oothers, you'd better start reading some serious books before preaching this cause.Otherwise you will remain nothing else than an epigon of the Orion project, and a poor one for that matter.

"They are nothing but a mathematical formula at this point in time."

Not a warp drive, a warp!Which means you have no ideea what that is.

"Alcubierres paper gives an amusing account. Warp drives are impossible in my opinion."

For the time being, yes, you are right.We cannot yet manipulate the spacetime fabric.

"Mathematically they might be fun to deliberate but the only way to warp space time significantly is through the use of macroscopic masses. Black holes and possibly neutron stars."

Actually, for a warp drive you would need two successive and very heavy BH's, in order to produce any significant fold.

"Believe me, such a fantasy machine if real would punch holes through the earth if you pointed it the wrong way. Read up on special relativity when you get a chance."

I am currently doing quantum gravitation,so I kind of have a clue...

"I see that you can't out argue me so you are now following the predictable routine of attacking your debating opponents credentials and schooling."

As opposed to bowing with reverence every time you say a dumb thing?Well, I apologize, but after 15 years of being a physicist I cannot swallow every odd idea one comes with.I have seen my more than fair share of ideas like yours,from perpetual motion (speaking of perpetual motion,Paul on this forum might be eager to join your project, but my advice would be to ignore him;he just solved the power crisis in California with a perpetual motion machine...)to students that come to me asking how they can build a laser sword like in StarsWars.

It is not a matter of credentials, or schooling, or anything.It is as simple as this:you are proposing something and you don't have the knowledge necessary to support your ideas.I will not apologize to you for your lack of knowledge.

"I guess the debate must be nearly over."

That depends on you.If you persist in your stubborness, yes, it's over.If you have any shred of rational thinking and want to understand where you went wrong and why, we can continue it.Remember Descartes:Dubito, ergo cogito, cogito, ergo sum.

"Better you than me. Give my regards to the crew of Columbia and Challenger."

This is dumb, to say the least.

"Obviously you haven't visited or else you would realise that a fund has been started."

Actually I did.Only words.

"I also founded the Pro-Nuclear Space Movement back in 98 to promote concepts like Orion. Within a couple of years the Nuclear Initiative was announced by NASA. The Mars Society interviewed me last year for their radio show. I've written articles for and other magazines. I've discussed Orion with the likes of Robert Zubrin and Jerry Pournelle. I'm doing all I can but I'm only one man."

I don't care what you do for a living, and as much as your effort you put into the space ideeas goes, I admire your energy.
I am only interested if you can or not to actually discuss this above the level of Dyson said or Dyson did, etc.If you have the knowledge, schooling and credentials are irrelevant.But in your case it is obvious that you lack most of that knowledge.

"It's important to stamp out ignorance too."

Here we agree.But before stamping out ignorance make sure you have the knowledge.

"I know I can't persuade you that Orion makes sense as you are obviously too proud to admit being wrong."

You can persuade me, but not with useless words and slogans.You can persuade me with facts, real scientific facts, not preaching.

And if you believe this discussion is a matter of pride,you are deadly wrong. I would be happy to be wrong, but unfortunately the laws of physics, from mechanics to nuclear physics, more than suggest that your project is wrong for deep space travel, and inefficient (not necessarily in terms of power)for orbital launches.

"The important thing is that you aren't the only one reading this."

Well, because I am not the only one reading this forum, you might want to consult a lawyer as much as the Orion project goes.Some of the people who contributed to your project might want their money back after reading this thread.

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