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Project Orion

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posted on Jan, 23 2003 @ 04:25 AM
Project Orion.

A serious attempt to design, circa 1963-4, a similar spacecraft for NASA interplanetary missions. The image below shows a miniature flying prototype of the Orion vehicle - built by General Atomic, a company founded by Teller's protege Frederick de Hoffmann - which made a successful flight to an altitude of about 100 meters in November 1959, during which it ejected several small conventional explosive charges in rapid succession.

Orion "Putt-Putt" test vehicle in National Air and Space Museum

By the early 1960s, General Atomic had advanced the Orion concept to studies of a vehicle capable of sending a crewed expedition to Mars. This vehicle was sized to the diameter of the Saturn V rocket and was to be launched in several sections and assembled in Earth orbit. A Mars mission of several months duration with a crew of eight was planned. Landing on Mars was to be accomplished by an advanced lifting-body vehicle

Mars Orion during nuclear boost

Mars Orion schematic diagram

Mechanism to eject "pulse units" (small nuclear bombs)

Nuclear "pulse unit" of low kiloton yield. Hundreds of these bombs would be used to accelerate Orion to interplanetary speeds

posted on Jan, 29 2003 @ 03:51 PM
Hmm...we're powered by a series of blasts generated by deploying nuclear bombs and exploding them behind us....SIGN ME UP!!! LOL!!! Yeah, right!

I remember seeing this design a while back. Would likely be tough getting people to sign for this mission, hehe....

posted on Feb, 12 2003 @ 07:30 PM
Don't forget to fasten your seatbelt.

posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 12:20 AM
A Golden Oldie, cyberchums: and lots of wizard wheeze links -from the rational to the delusional - here:

posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 04:10 AM


Interesting link.

Nuclear Powered Aircraft and Missiles

Project Orion - Film Report No. 1 - CLASSIFIED
Film Number USAF 27597

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program: Manned Aircraft
Film Number PIN 20619 DF, Film FR-3A - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program - manned Aircraft,
1956-1958 - SECRET
Film Number PIN 20619 DF, Film FR-3A

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Orientation
Film Number PIN 26172 DF, Film SFP-342A

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Status Report, 1955
Film Number PIN 26173 DF, Film SFP 3429

The Nuclear Ramjet Program - Pluto, 1963
Film Number FR-0258 - SECRET

Project Pluto - Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion,
Eighth Summary Film Report, July-December 1962
Film Number USAF 34537 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Systems,
Fifth Summary Film Report, 1961
Film Number USAF 37438 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Systems,
First Summary Film Report, 1959
Film Number USAF 37487 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Systems,
Second Summary Film Report, 1960
Film Number USAF 37488 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Systems,
Third Summary Film Report, 1960
Film Number USAF 37489 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Systems,
Fourth Summary Film Report, 1960
Film Number USAF 37490 - SECRET

Project Pluto, Sixth Summary Film Report, 1962
Film Number USAF 37491 - SECRET

Project Pluto Seventh Summary Film Report, 1962
Film Number USAF 37492 - SECRET

LASVN2 1964 Annual Report,
Low Altitude Supersonic Vehicle Nuclear
Film Number USAF 38911 - SECRET

LASV-N1 1963 Progress Report,
Low Altitude Supersonic Nuclear Vehicle
Film Number USAF 38912 - SECRET

Pluto Ceramic Fule Elements Tory IIC - SECRET
Film Number USAF 38914

Nuclear Powered Missile Study
Film Number USAF 38918 - SECRET

Project Pluto Nuclear Reactor Fuel Fabrication
Film Number USAF 38921 - SECRET

Nuclear Powered Missile Study,
Supersonic Low Altitude Missile
Film Number USAF 38922 - SECRET

Low Altitude Supersonic Vehicle Nuclear Progress
Report Number 2, December 1963
Film Number USAF 38925 - SECRET

Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program:
ROVER, PLUTO, SNAP, Progress Report, 1956-68
Film Number FR-0003-B

posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 05:55 AM
I've read in a science magazine tha NASA worked on a long range AMERICIUM 157 (or around this atomic mass) for a spaceshio to travel to mars.

posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 08:59 AM
do go through the links -e.g.
there is plenty there.

posted on Feb, 13 2003 @ 09:15 AM

Von Braun became an enthusiastic Orion supporter, but he was able to make little headway among higher-level administration officials. In addition to the general injunction against nuclear power, very practical objections were raised: what if a Saturn bearing a propulsion module with hundreds of bombs aboard should explode? Was it possible to guarantee that not a single bomb would explode or even rupture? NASA's understandable fear of a public-relations disaster contributed to its reluctance to provide money (47); however, its Office of Manned Spaceflight was sufficiently interested to fund another study (48).

A hammer blow was delivered in August 1963 with the signing of the nuclear test-ban treaty by the U.S., U.K., and U.S.S.R. Orion was now illegal under international law. Yet the project did not die immediately. It was still possible that an exemption could be granted for programs that were demonstrably peaceful. Surely the treaty reduced Orion's political capital even further, though. Yet another problem was that, because Orion was a classified project, very few people in the engineering and scientific communities were aware of its existence. In an attempt to rectify this, Nance (now managing the project) lobbied the Air Force to declassify at least the broad outline of the work that had been done. Eventually it agreed, and Nance published a brief description of the "first generation" vehicle in October 1964

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