[ExI] Power satellites

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 14:16:43 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 3:18 PM, Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I think you could: nuclear pulse propulsion from the surface.  I haven't run the numbers, but there'd be no need for the huge capital investment of a space elevator AND most of the technology for it'd be off-the-shelf.

Project Orion-style, you mean? I have recently opened the discussion
on the subject myself.

The environmental issues are well real, but this may well be a litmus
test with respect to GW mongers, given that if the real concern is
catastrophic climatic developments and not luddism one should be more
than ready to risk a marginal rise in radioactivity on earth rather
than facing temperature-induced doom.

There again, it remains unclear whether the technology is really
appropriate and competitive in comparison with alternatives.

Interestingly, in its era such propulsion was even proposed as a way
to dispose of existing nuclear arsenals, even though I assume that
special purpose nuclear bombs might be less polluting or better suited
to the requirements of such a project; but I must confess that this
and a lot of other tech details escape me entirely.

For instance, it was my impression that with regard to nuclear-pulse
takeoffs from earth, "the larger, the better" in tems of efficiency,
but I believe that Keith suggested that mid-sized Orion vehicles would
in fact be best.

Stefano Vaj

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list