Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of
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Pages: 35. Chapters: Nuclear pulse propulsion, Nuclear thermal
rocket, Nuclear salt-water rocket, Bussard ramjet, Fusion rocket,
Nuclear photonic rocket, Nuclear electric rocket, Antimatter
catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion, Project Orion, Gas core reactor
rocket, NERVA, Project Rover, British Rail flying saucer,
Fission-fragment rocket, Mini-Mag Orion, Project Prometheus,
Radioisotope rocket, Space Nuclear Propulsion Office, Project
Longshot, Charles Osmond Frederick, Fission sail, RD-0410, Helios,
Nuclear lightbulb, Project Timberwind, Project Icarus, ICAN-II,
AIMStar, 11B97. Excerpt: Project Orion was a study of a spacecraft
intended to be directly propelled by a series of explosions of
atomic bombs behind the craft (Nuclear pulse propulsion). Early
versions of this vehicle were proposed to have taken off from the
ground with significant associated nuclear fallout; later versions
were presented for use only in space. A 1955 Los Alamos Laboratory
document states (without offering references) that general
proposals were first made by Stanislaw Ulam in 1946, and that
preliminary calculations were made by F. Reines and Ulam in a Los
Alamos memorandum dated 1947. The actual project, initiated in
1958, was led by Ted Taylor at General Atomics and physicist
Freeman Dyson, who at Taylor's request took a year away from the
Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton to work on the project.
By using energetic nuclear power, the Orion concept offered high
thrust and high specific impulse, or propellant efficiency, at the
same time. As a qualitative comparison, traditional chemical
rockets-such as the Saturn V that took the Apollo program to the
Moon-produce high thrust with low specific impulse, whereas
electric ion engines produce a small amount of thrust very
efficiently. Orion would have offered performance greater than the
most advanced conv...
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