posted 05-25-2005 11:27 AM
UK BBC4 TV replayed the 2003 programme about Project Orion last night.
Great stuff !
Showed the rare footage of the Orion test craft rising from pad on successive explosions of conventional 'bombs' (about 1/2 lb each I think he said) and achieving a very respectable height above launch tower.
The 'real' Orion - if it had been built - would have used nuclear 'bombs' being exploded and the 'force' then being used against a pusher plate on the craft.
Interviews with Freeman Dyson and his son,Arthur C. Clarke and Jaromir Astl - amongst many others. Astl showed one of the test craft which he has in his home.
Dyson said that about 1,000 nuclear charge bombs needed to reach orbit.
I would think it would have had better use for deep space missions or even very rudimentary interstellar spacecraft missons ?
Clips from several of the once classified films made by General Atomic for presentations to Army,USAF,congressmen etc were shown .
All in all, a very good program.