[ExI] Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Dec 24 20:21:49 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of John K Clark
> ... the launch of an Orion type
> spacecraft would be amazing sight, it would make a Saturn 5 look like a
> bottle rocket.
>       John K Clark

Hi John, I may be wrong about this, but it seems we still need chemical
rockets to get our nuclear Orion stages into LEO, so the launch of an Orion
would look like any other heavy lifter, such as the Lockheed/commie Proton.
I don't see how we could control nuclear blasts of sufficient magnitude to
use them as a first or even second stage.  There are too many unpredictable
factors if we are trying to accelerate a huge structure at a couple G (at
least) via nuclear blasts and ablation.  One such problem would be
asymmetric thrust, which would be manageable in deep space but a surely
catastrophic mission ender if it occurs while still in the thick air.

We would need to carry a few hundred tons of nukes and ablative material
into LEO, assemble it there, and take off from LEO, ja?  Then the maximum
acceleration would be a fraction of a G, a few tenths perhaps, over a large
number of pulses to eventually reach enormous delta Vee, the kind of delta
Vee that makes rocket scientists awaken in a pleasantly aroused cold sweat.

{8^P---------w========V     <--- (Me, dreaming of enormous delta V)  

Have you any calcs to suggest otherwise?  Do share.  


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