posted on Jul, 12 2014 @ 08:37 PM
If the Air Force had continued to fund Project Orion, they might have later succeeded in producing a starship, but it didn't happen. Apparently, they
stopped funding because of the radiation concerns and because NASA was the new face of space exploration - the Air Force deals in weapons. In a time
when there was talk about controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and fears of nuclear annihilation, the thought of using nuclear weapons to provide
thrust for spacecraft would make eyes roll.
There were probably other reasons it stopped short. What reason is there in 1963-1966 to fund a program to produce a spaceship that can travel quickly
between the planets? Not much. In fact, there's not much reason to do it today, either. The problem is we don't really have a strong reason to travel
to the other planets yet. We're not out of land on Earth and colonizing a hostile extraterrestrial environment is expensive. Even if we exhausted the
land, we could always build colonies underground or in (or on) the oceans, so there's little reason for us to go off-earth for living space. Until
we're in dire need of rare earth metals or He3 or some other exotic material, we'll probably still be stuck in low Earth orbit or on the moon.
Because there's no strong need to travel to other planets, the funding is low. Evenso, we've produced ion propulsion systems for probes that're very
efficient. We've also done some preliminary work on solar sails. I think Japan even launched a test solar sail prototype. There's some research into
techniques to get us to Mars more quickly via nuclear systems. These're not the same thing as detonating mini-nukes behind a pusher plate in a
repeated manner, but they'll put us on a road towards interplanetary travel if we keep supplying the money. Interstellar is a long ways off, but some
might argue the Voayger probes are now interstellar.
Here's probably one of hte best examples:
www.theregister.co.uk - NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip
down to 30 days...
The proposed Fusion Driven Rocket (FDR) is a 150-ton system that uses magnetism to compress lithium or aluminum metal bands around a deuterium-tritium
fuel pellet to initiate fusion. The resultant microsecond reaction forces the propellant mass out at 30 kilometers per second, and would be able to
pulse every minute or so and not cause g-force damage to the spacecraft's occupants.
The spent fuel pellet is ejected behind the motor to provide propulsion, and because the whole process is magnetically controlled there's relatively
little wear and tear on the engines. A pellet the size of a grain of sand would provide the same propellant as a gallon of conventional rocket
All this requires electrical power to control and contain the reaction, but Dr. Anthony Pancotti, an advanced propulsion engineer with the team, told
The Register that the advantages of magnetic inertial confinement fusion (over that requiring massive lasers, for example) mean that the spacecraft
could power itself on solar energy alone.
"It's very scalable; we can achieve fusion at a much smaller scale," he said. "We could run the designed engine off 200KW of solar panels, which is
about the same power as generated by the panels around the International Space Station"
The FDR is one of only ten projects to get Stage Two funding from the program. This $600,000 award will provide the proof-of-concept FDR system over
the next 18 months, and a working spacecraft would be ready as soon as 2020, Pancotti predicted – but if NASA wanted to throw money at the project,
this timescale could be cut.
And one more thing. It may be some of hte UFO sightings are Air Force creations stemming from the long ago and dead Project Silver Bug. The problem is
if this is true then why have these not been made public? The SR-71 was made public. There're many aircraft that were once classified but are now
public. While the Acro Car was made public and is officially accepted as a spinoff of Project Silver Bug, it failed terribly. One can wonder if
there're other as yet still classified spinoffs.
Also note those "aircraft" would not need runways. The facilities that house htem could be underground. So they really could hide these things well as
long as they killed any paper/digital trails or satellite feeds.
edit on 12-7-2014 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)