[ExI] Project Orion , was rocket fuel

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sat Dec 11 21:44:24 UTC 2010

On 10 December 2010 22:47, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> You will not get NERVA-type rockets approved, nevermind something
> as dirty as an Orion. That's not a handicap, that's a feature.

I do not expect, nor would actually wish, Orion Project vehicles routinely
utilised to bring things our of the earth's gravitational well (I do not
cherish the prospective of getting a cancer myself...), but certainly would
aesthetically love to see them used at least a few times, ideally for
"bootstrapping" purposes.

Think for instance of space-based solar power, or space-elevator lunar
Helium-3 mining, or whatever. I suspect that once one has obtained a
sufficient quantity of cheap energy at ground level in the first place, it
would be easy enough to revert to lower-efficiency, but more environmentally
friendly, technologies.

And I also suspect that while adverse consequences of Project Orion
propulsion cannot be entirely avoided, much could be done in comparison with
the 60s tech originally considered...

Stefano Vaj
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