Re: Project Orion

From: Martin Ling (
Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 18:22:44 MDT

On Sat, Jun 17, 2000 at 08:01:08AM -0500, Chuck Kuecker wrote:
> At 09:41 AM 6/17/00 +0100, you wrote:
> >Yes, I'm familiar with this one. This being a very feasible idea, and
> >possible with current technology, the restrictions placed on atomic
> >explosions in space seem somewhat... annoying, to say the least,
> >especially since they only exist because the test ban treaty doesn't
> >bother to state any minimum acceptable range.
> >
> >Of course, we'd probably have to settle for building the craft in orbit,
> >which somewhat detracts from its advantages in feasible weight, but
> >there are ways to deal with that... a certain idea of mine in this area
> >I will be documenting soon.
> >
> >
> >Martin
> >
> >PS - even the old Tintin book 'Destination Moon' recognised the benefits
> >of atomic propulsion! :-)
> I remember reading, in relation to Soviet Topaz reactors, that the reactor
> in orbit trailed a plume of energetic particles that could destroy or at
> least damage satellites in orbit behind the reactor. Possibly this was
> because the Topaz ran totally unshielded, to save weight. Perhaps a similar
> effect to the Van Allen belts that trap Solar wind particles?
> Orion launches would have to be in orbits arranged to avoid dosing
> commercial satellites with the "exhaust". What effect would this have on
> the useful trajectories available?

Well, you'd want to avoid all low orbits. Out of the way of Earth, as
well as a very saturated satellite arena.

I'm not sure how much exists between the closer orbits and
geostationary, but there is effectively a mostly empty gap.
Geostationary orbit itself is not a problem, being 37000km
out - besides, everything there is in exact equatorial
positioning, so a small course offset would avoid them.


-----[ Martin J. Ling ]-----[ ]-----

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