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Project Orion could it be revived

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posted on Jun, 20 2005 @ 10:28 PM
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The cancellation of Project Orion was the worst decision that NASA ever made IMO it didn't have to be cancelled the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty could have been easily amended. If this had come to fruition our space exploration program would be decades ahead of were it is today.

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posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 01:11 AM
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Could it be revived? Not for launch from the surface. But for a deep space drive? Maybe. With laser-assisted microfusion pulse units? Possibly. With Penning matter/antimatter pulse units? Definitely.

If you do the math, you can't beat the Isp.



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 01:32 AM
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Hmmm, there will always be the question of boosting all that nuclear material into orbit to make it a go. One boom and you could have some major issues.

Project orion was one of my first threads here on ATS:

Project Orion (Future space propulsion)



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 01:47 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Hmmm, there will always be the question of boosting all that nuclear material into orbit...


Yup. That's one of the arguments for a public moonbase and/or Lagrange Point base- as a safe place to build spacedrives. From off-world 'stuff'.

Which opens up the whole 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' can of worms.

Which should not deter us.



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 01:53 AM
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What are your thoughts on NERVA would that be more pactical as a surface launch vehicle?



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 02:16 AM
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Good questions, Dan. I think, that for boost-phase Von Braun had it right: a big, dumb, disposable, hydrogen(hydrocarbon)/lox booster. If it is reliable enough- as the Saturn V was- and the cargo is encapsulated well enough- then up you go to work on NERVA, ORION, or what have you, in space.. A possible alternative is electromagnetic launch. I really honestly don't think an orbit-to-ground tether is coming any time soon. Or antigravs, beamriders etc.

Steamrockets like NERVA are space drives due to planetary radiation hazards. Pulse drives like Orion belong in deep space for the same reason. Reactor/propellant rockets win on elegance; Orion on sheer specific impulse. Do a web search on M2P2 for an alternative.

Space is not easy. And that is why we must go.



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 06:18 AM
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Originally posted by Chakotay
Space is not easy. And that is why we must go.

Putting one's head in one's arse isn't easy either, but that doesnt make me want to recommend it. There is little use in manned space exploration and unmanned space exploration can do with present day rockets instead of megalomaniac plans for rockets that leave the real estate prices near the launch site very low for the next 10,000 years.



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 06:38 AM
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Really? You must be really uneducated if you think that, as without manned exploration we wouldn't have Smoke Detectors which is a direct spinoff from Spacelab
Think before you post please...



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Really? You must be really uneducated if you think that, as without manned exploration we wouldn't have Smoke Detectors which is a direct spinoff from Spacelab
Think before you post please...

Smoke detectors were invented years before "Spacelab", or rather Skylab.

inventors.about.com...

Considering the use for manned space exploration:


Why manned space exploration:

(1) Spin-offs. Few and far between. As reported in 1993 by space skeptic Bob Park, who writes a weekly news digest for the American Physical Society, an internal NASA study admitted, "To much of the public, NASA's technology transfer reputation is based on some famous examples, including Velcro, Tang and Teflon. Contrary to popular belief, NASA created none of these. . . . There have not been very many technology transfer successes compared to the potential." Park added, "In 1991, during a Senate debate on an amendment to slash funding for Space Station Freedom, Sen. [Howell] Heflin (D-AL) produced a NASA list of 74 'space spinoffs'--everything from synthetic teats for piglets to portable ice rinks. [I] challenged anyone to document that a single item on the list actually owed its existence to the space program. There were no takers."

(2) Research. This is what you're asking about. One of the original arguments for the manned space program was that in microgravity astronauts would be able to grow purer crystals and such. Many scientists now doubt the effort is worth the trouble. In 1998 the American Society for Cell Biology declared, "Most of [NASA's space-based life science research] is driven by the need to make use of the engineering temple called the International Space Station (ISS)"--that is, NASA didn't develop the ISS to do experiments, it dreamed up the experiments to justify the ISS. Space is an extremely difficult environment in which to do research, the ASCB said. Space studies to date have shown that biological processes are largely unaffected by microgravity. Most biological research can be conducted more effectively on the ground. "Areas of research such as protein crystallization, drug design, and basic animal and plant cell and developmental biology can not be used to justify a space mission," the ASCB concluded.

(3) Space colonies. Critics note that many space experiments are designed to examine the long-term effects of a low-gravity environment on astronauts. In other words, the purpose of the manned space program is to study the manned space program. The none-too-secret long-term agenda: To boldly go where no one has gone before and colonize the galaxy, just like in Star Trek.

Except that space colonization is a romantic illusion. The best explication of this comes from a charming article written in the aftermath of the last space shuttle disaster by my fellow truth seeker Joel Achenbach and published in his Why Things Are: Answers to Every Essential Question in Life (1991). Short version: It's unlikely we'll ever be able to colonize other solar systems--they're too far away. Using next-generation propulsion systems it'd take 5,000 years to reach the nearest star. We'll probably never go much faster because of the physical limitations of the cosmos--you can't reach the speed of light (or even get remotely close to it) with any technology now on the horizon due to the vast amount of energy required. Talk of hyperdrives and such is just Hollywood fantasy. We could colonize our own solar system, but who'd want to go? The other planets are inhospitable rock piles, toxic cauldrons, or frigid balls of gas. Some say: Surely one day we'll figure out a way to sidestep the basic laws of the universe. I reply: Never say never. But it won't involve a bunch of creaky space buckets with loose tiles.

(4) Coolness. Our trips to the moon were a blast--I'm sure most Americans would vote for another one in a second. The question is whether, in the absence of a plausible new mission, the coolness of manned space flight justifies its enormous expense. Many scientists complain that the manned space program sucks up scarce funds that could be more usefully spent on robot probes and earth-based research. There's little in the solar system that seems to merit a personal visit (unless such a mission could demonstrate that life did, does, or could exist on Mars--I'd give that one a go). But I'd be hard put to say we should send people into space just because it's fun.


Think before you post indeed instead of having romantic illusions about manned space exploration.


[edit on 21-6-2005 by Simon666]



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 04:17 PM
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Simon I believe you are correct in that the space program really hasn't made an impact on the daily lives of most americans, however this IMO is because of the tendency of our supposedly space enthusiastic government to treat space as it's personal playground wether its throwing a temper-tantrum about Dennis Tito buying a trip to the ISS or its running Beal Aerospace out of business it is sadly true that until this monopoly is broken either by the government its self or some "spacial entrepreneur"(Bush quote) sadly I think thats how most americans will view space as something unattainable unless you have a Ph.D and years of government service under your belt. But once the Space Age truly begins(when someone can get on Space Ship One with a ticket to the toutatis mining colony taking with him hope for a better and more properous life)mankind will finally begin to reap the rewards of what his promised and foretold for so long.



posted on Jun, 21 2005 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Simon666
Putting one's head in one's arse isn't easy either, but that doesnt make me want to recommend it. There is little use in manned space exploration...


Wow, Simon, welcome to ATS. I can see from your avatar that you speak from experience. I will take your advice!



posted on Jun, 23 2005 @ 03:13 AM
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Originally posted by danwild6
Simon I believe you are correct in that the space program really hasn't made an impact on the daily lives of most americans,...

I didn't say that, satellites are extremely useful for weather forecasts, data relays, earth observation, etcetera. I do say there is little use for a MANNED space program.

[edit on 23-6-2005 by Simon666]




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