Re: Project Orion

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Wed Jun 21 2000 - 15:25:16 MDT

At 02:05 PM 6/21/00 -0400, you wrote:

>I understand there has been some concern over the radio activity involved in
>launching the Orion space ship design from the surface of the Earth. However
>has anyone done a study on that subject? Have the Engineers, as they so
>often do, found a way to avoid radio activity in a launch from the surface?
>Ron H.

Seeing as Orion relies on air bursts of nuclear devices to propel it, even
with the cleanest bombs conceivable, there will still be some fallout and
of course, radiation in the local area of the launch. Whoever is downwind
will get dosed - maybe less than what they used to get from the above
ground tests in Nevada, but dosed nonetheless. This alone will probably
prevent an Orion style launch from ground to orbit, except in a dire emergency.

If the craft could be launched from orbit, less and smaller devices could
be used to escape Earth orbit, since most of the work is from the surface
to LEO. Fallout in space could cause problems for satellites and manned
stations unless the trajectory was planned carefully to avoid these areas.

Chuck Kuecker

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