Is anyone resurrecting Project Orion?

Way back in when there was a lot of interest in Project Orion as a means of putting very large payloads into orbit and as a possible core engine for very distant destinations. I here some rumours now and again that it may be on the cards again, any thoughts?

3 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    Orion was never looked at as a means of putting large payloads in orbit. A ground launch would probably blow up the ship itself, due to the heating of the ground from a nuclear explosion. It would also cause a lot of radioactive contamination if used in the atmosphere. The original idea was to build it in orbit. There are two main things keeping any consideration away from it: the treaty banning nuclear weapons in space and more importantly the unwillingness of the public to fund any significant endeavors into space.

  • 8 years ago

    It will NEVER be done by the hysterical anti-nuclear 'western' nations ...

    ... even when the lights start going out when the wind drops at night (so no wind or solar power) no one will be demanding new nuclear power plants ..

    The Chinese, on the other hand, have a very different attitude to what's acceptable and what's not .. so, I would suggest, if it ever gets done, it will be launched from China .. and if that irradiates a few thousand Chinese peasants, well, as Chairman Mao once pointed out, there's plenty more where they came from ..

  • 8 years ago

    The new space capsule NASA is building is called Orion, but has nothing to do with actual nuclear pulse drives.

    Furthermore, there are international treaties banning the actual use of a nuclear pulse drive, so until that changes, all the work on the subject will be theoretical.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.