Project Orion Nuclear Spacecraft

Discussion in 'Science' started by ChurchBoy, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. ChurchBoy

    ChurchBoy
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    Do anyone think the Orion rocket will ever be plausible? The US gov't did substantial research in the 1960s. For those who do not know what the Orion rocket was, it was an idea for a rocket that would be propelled by releasing nuclear explosive devices behind it and detonating them. The huge amount of energy would propel the rocket forward. I know it sounds crazy but the US did serious research on this design. Read on...


    Project Orion website
     
  2. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    I do not think it will ever be plausible, mainly because of public opinion and the perception of risk.

    It was a very good idea on how the solar system could have been explored relatively quickly and with available technology.

    My personal opinion is that we really dropped the ball after the moon shots. We had the momentum and the technology base to have continued to pushout into space. The 70's should have seen the establishment of space stations and a permanent prescence on the moon and the development of something like Orion to take us into the rest of the solar system.

    By now we should have all that futuristic stuff. Space hotels. Men scattered across the solar system with a longer list of places that have been visited. Space observatories that would make Hubble look like a kid's back yard scope. Maybe even have adopted something like Orion to launch the first probe towards Alpha Centauri.

    But, alas, we slipped. Maybe governments are not capable of such. Maybe it must be left to private enterprise.

    Look at the success of Space Ship One to this point. What, three suborbital flights. I bet fro a fraction of the cost of Mercury. (Though admittedly they did have a technology base on which to build and were not inventing things totally from scratch.) And now the next phase is underway wit hthe announcement of the America's Prize to the first orbital private flight. I believe buried in the details of that are some requirements that will allow the winner to dock with a planned space hotel.

    The downside of all this is that what gets done will be largely the things where there is a profit to be made. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it will mean a continued slow road for basic research and exploration. BUt still, look how much cheaper and quickly private business can do things than the government. Maybe the answer is for NASA to subcontract much of their mission out to private industry with little oversight than to get it done.
     
  3. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Church,

    The concept is plausible. The cost/benefit is the real issue. The need for true theral-nuclear propulsion would be needed most for the transportation of humans.

    Until the focus of our space program is changed from trying to find life to support the "theory of evolution", larger manned spacecraft will not be needed.
     
  4. ChurchBoy

    ChurchBoy
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    I thought I'd bump this up. So far it is the only non-orgins, evolution, YEC, thread in the science section. [​IMG]
     

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