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Why did they never build these, /his/? We...
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Why did they never build these, /his/? We could be colonizing the solar system by now.

Where were the absolute madmen when we needed them?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)
https://youtu.be/xYoLcJuBtOw
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>>518524
Too expensive for their times. Nowadays it´s all "muh enviroment" and "muh bad atoms", so it today it falls out of question, too.

Orion was only feasible with a "fuck it, we´re going to space" attitude.
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>>518524

Cost and fear of nuclear holocaust, those are pretty much the only 2 answers. The muh environment argument is ludicrous because 0% of the radiation from those would reach earth, we have something called a magnetic field that blocks fucktons of radiation every single day.
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>>519001
Or the department of defense took it over so they could carry on nuclear testing
Heck half the reason fusion is shot atm is cos yanks went down the route of lots of mini explosions instead of the toroidal plasma
In fact the dofd has pushed the idea of toroidal as dangerous so much that comic book movies piss on it cf iron man
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>>518524
How would they shield the astronauts from the radiation?
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>>518524
multiple reasons:

1) on launch, they'd release enough dirty radioactive shit to raise the cancer rate for the whole world by a not-insignificant amount.

2) lots of "minor bugs"...like optimal pusher plate design, shock absorbers, etc.

3) they're literally illegal.

>>521039
>How would they shield the astronauts from the radiation?

not even your biggest issue: the acceleration from an orion tier nuclear pulse propelled spacecraft would be enough to liquify a human.
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Might be better to see if you can catch Oppenheimer over on /k/, but I'm studying Aerospace engineering and I can come up with a couple of reasons off the bat
>Logistics
Launches need to be over water or some desolate wasteland in the event of a failure so that debris doesn't fall on population centers. Problem is, all of our current launch sites (Southern Florida, Texas, and Southern California) are close enough to population centers that we wouldn't exactly be comfortable throwing multiple nukes to put something into space. Sure, you could try building something in New Mexico or somewhere similar, but that's going to be expensive

>Durability of the launch site
Multiple nuclear detonations, starting with a ground burst, are going to really fuck up anything in the way. Even if we ignore the concerns with launching from an existing base, you're going to have to rebuild the launch site after every launch because the rocket pads we use aren't hardened against nuclear strikes.

Oddly enough, however, radiation reportedly wouldn't have been too much of a concern. From the reports I've read and things I've heard about the Orion proposal, using those systems over conventional rockets would actually result in fewer cancer deaths-per-launch than a conventional rocket. One big concern I see is that you might get EMP effects from detonations in the thermosphere, which presents a huge problem, as it has the potential to fuck up electrical grids for entire regions. However, I'm not too well versed on those kinds of things, so it might not be that much of a concern.
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>>518524
>Why did they never build these, /his/?

Like everything space related that doesn't get built: politics.

>no one could think of why we'd need to send up 1000 pound payloads.
>wanted to focus on building apollo spacecraft instead
>1963 nuclear test ban made them illegal.

tl;dr they were pointless for our aims at the time and stopped being legal before we could realise why they would be good for stuff.
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>>521086
>1000lb payloads
I hope that's a typo, m8. Pic related can put over 1000lb into space.
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>>521096
ah yes, you're right.

*tons.
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>>521070

>not even your biggest issue: the acceleration from an orion tier nuclear pulse propelled spacecraft would be enough to liquify a human.

This was the first thing that propped into my head. This isn't star trek where we have all-powerful inertia negators that somehow make acceleration into speed-of-light (or even just, really fucking fast) over the course of a second to be a safe, harmless affair.
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>>521085
What if we built them in space, using mass accelerators or space elevators or something? It seems to me, for the distances and speed a nuke powered rocket would go, it doesn't make sense to build it to be capable of atmospheric launch.
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>>521126
That is a possibility, but of course that brings the question of what do we need a several-hundred-ton spaceship with (presumably) enough delta-V for interplanetary travel for?
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>>521126
Is more easy to built on the moon
And if we can build it the big question is how we colonize the solar system knowing that every planet it's different from each other (from gravity to solar radiation, even the most change of gravity on our bodies can result in a serious deformation as our body is only adapted to earth's gravity)
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>>521126
>What if we built them in space
then you've nullified their point.

Sure, you can get fast with one of these fuckers once you get them into LEO, but their real boon is that you can launch thousands of tons of payload to orbit relatively easily.

Imagine putting the whole ISS up in one go...or a whole fucking space colony. That's what these things are for.

>>521120
Hell, and then you've got pusher-plate ablation, what-to-do if a misfire happens and physical debris from the nuclear bomb's detonator impacts the spacecraft, and several other issues.

like I said...lots and lots of "minor" bugs that, if any of them cause an issue, it results in catastrophic failure.
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>>521182
I thought their point was one of the only somewhat feasible propulsion options for interstellar travel? Mass accelerators or space elevators, seem to be much better suited for orbital payloads.
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>>521161
Space colonization, obviously. Without space colonization, human existence is knowably finite, it doesn't matter if we don't nuke ourselves to extinction, or prevent global warming or whatever.
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>>521212
with the heat death of the universe, human existence is knowably finite as well.
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>>521240
Heat death of the universe is much less sure than the sun killing all life on Earth. And at the very least, humanity would last orders of magnitude longer. If you want to go full scifi mode, possibly until humans can find a way to travel to or create new universes.
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>>518524
Outer Space treaty, Partial test ban.

No one wanted to escalate the Cold War THAT much. Think about how much people shat themselves over Sputnik, and imagine what this monster would have done.
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>>519023
The American military gives funds to action movies all the time. it's possible stuff like that was added to by them.
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I can see us space mining in my life time, but I can also see there being astronomers who're like hippies and want us to stop fucking with space, branching a section of space hippies.
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>tfw no O'neill cylinders
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>>521070
Couldn't you just get around this and every other "nuclear launch" problem by taking off conventionally (or assembling the damn thing in space itself)?
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>>521212
>implying we have the technology to colonize the moon or mars or anywhere else
>implying we have the money to colonize the moon or mars or anywhere else
>implying we'll be able to go outside of our own solar system to prolong human existence
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>>518524

cost

Congress has long had a fetish for private space investment. Originally the Space Shuttle was designed to do this. This didn't happen because ramjet tech just wasn't where it needed to be for SSTOs (which people thought it would evolve into). It's still not really at that point.

Nuclear Propulsion in general isn't something NASA has given up on, but the world isn't ready for it. Nuclear rockets, either via thermal or kinetic propulsion, are best suited for long-distance space travel which we're just not at yet. Also, until Yucca Mountain is built NASA will have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to store nuclear waste. Making one-way probes (or crashing spent rockets on the moon) negates this problem. But we're not at that point yet.
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>>521669
Consider that the thing has a gigantic slab of concrete
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>>518524
>Where were the absolute madmen when we needed them?
we betrayed them
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>>521120
>>521070
acceleration is actually not a problem at all and in fact a major advantage

orion drive is capable of accelerating at 1G for prolonged periods, which gets it extreme velocities while the humans inside of it experience similar conditions to those experienced by the average person on earth's surface
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>>523450

Holy shit, it's like you actually did your homework and have a grasp of basic physics unlike most others here that just pull deadly scenarios out of their asses.

Fusion rockets are probably a much more viable option desu but the tech for it is still about 50 years off.
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>>523527
Not that anon but
>tfw no nuclear powered B-36
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>>523446
naziboo please

>operation paperclip

the mad men just got hired by people who wherent mentally insane
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>>523550
Not that anon but I'm a Naziboo because space colonization was the next logical step after the war.
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>>523553
it is time to stop playing wolfenstein: new order
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>>523560
But I never played that garbage game :<
I'm 100% sure that Von Bruan would have got us there.
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>>523553
>space colonization, nazi goal

Said who?
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>>525030
It was definitely this man's goal. Only reason he ever bothered with the Nazis and NASA.

It's a shame his vision was never realized. One day soon, von Braun
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Build them in space and have them controlled by an I.A. with rutine communications with earth to reset its short term objectives.
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>>523426

I'm sure we could design a vacuum setting form of concrete.
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>>525030
Never stated, but it was the next logical progression after the war.
>>525054
This man was fucking brilliant.
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>>518524
Because it would have been expensive, and more importantly it would have produced a lot of radiation and radioactive byproducts even if successful. If it had crashed it would have been a catastrophe.

I like the idea that we have an ace in the hole though should we ever NEED to get humans off Earth. The problem is if humanity doesn't recognize the necessity in time. For example, Peak Oil is probably going to sneak up on us and take the global economy out from under us, and if we aren't colonizing the solar system now then we certainly won't be doing it once global civilization has collapsed.
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who couldn't they just launch it in pieces by conventional means then assemble it in space where it's safer today?
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>>525873
Its doable you just need a couple dozen elon musks to fund that kinda thing.
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>>525227

>peak oil
>a problem

if push came to shove ethanol can replace petrol in most cases, the only issue would be that the food supply would be fucked so the third world would starve
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So let's say Kessler Syndrome happens.

Would a heavily armored Orion be the only way to send things out of orbit then?
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>>526523

The third world would only starve if the west keeps insisting they grow cash crops.

They could be food independent NOW, if they used the same land for food crops.
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>>526533

If Kessler Syndrome becomes a problem, you'd suddenly see a lot of investment in space junk recovery and scrapping. If you can make a rocket that goes to the moon, you can certainly make one that flies into LEO, picks something up then returns.
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Is there even enough nuclear shit on earth to fuel these things?

I also imagine they would be a nightmare to regulate, because you can use those nukes to destroy cities as well.
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>>526547
Well, my country has meat as a main export and now is considering importing meat because the difference in coins make the internal market not so interesting for the land owners. As it tends to happen, if we tried to be completely indepdendent we would survive just fine but people wouldn't have ther smartphones and star wars so it will never happen.
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>>523550
>madman
>not under the control of the mentally insane
it is like you don't want humanity to progress
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>>521425
Holy shit, what a monster.
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>44/45 years to reach the closest star
that's nothing. it's completely worth it.
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>>518524
while bringing fissile material into the upper atmosphere is ultimately necessary, rocket technology wasn't nearly as advanced as it is today and faults still occur. Risk of fallout upon breakup during launch would have been extraordinarily high, compared to costs. The economic incentives to leave the gravity well simply weren't, and honestly aren't, there. A functioning economy needs to be established, or a need equivalent to species-survival, to justify the Orion project. Good concept.

Just to put things into perspective about how (old) Orion isn't necessary:
Cost of shuttle launch: ~1.5B/launch
High estimate of current launch costs with equivalent payload: 100M/launch
#Bigelow Aerospace BA-330s to equal living space of ISS: 3
# launches to get them into LEO (with docking node and propulsion module): 5
Total cost for launches: 500M
Total cost for habs (rough estimate): 1B
Total cost for ISS sized station with today's tech at high launch price: 1.5B

Thing is, there's no economic NEED for any of this stuff. Planning is on the order of decades, as we establish mining technologies. Once you have a functioning infrastructure it's an exponential growth curve. Mining raw materials, refining them to usable ores, manufacturing, and food production are the key components to that infrastructure. By 2025 these will all be in place, it's not like a lot of money isn't being thrown at the problem already. Bigelow is doing a final proof of concept of their expandable hab modules when CRS-8 goes up in a month, using the hab as an airlock to stress test the hell out of it.
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>>527747
This isn't even touching on the reusability concept, and economies of scale.
Falcon 9.1 is rated for 10 launches and relanded late dec, and is go for another launch already. Let's assume that 10 is excessive and it's more like 6 because we're still trying to figure this stuff out and I like round numbers.
Current cost of single 9.1 launch: ~60M (no reusability)
amortized with reusability over 6 launches: 10M/launch
Fuel cost/launch: 1M
Total cost/launch: 11M
Cost of Habs: 1B
w/ economies of scale - see past examples of cars, planes, ships, and other automotives for justification of 10X decrease: 100M
Cost of 5 launches: 100M + 11M * 5

Total cost of ISS sized space station, with reusability and being very generous with estimates: 155M
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>>526882

Don't forget about invasion, coercion, and/or bullying from the UN big 5.
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>>518524
Reading all this shit in the thread, do you think it is likely that we will see this rocket in our lifetime?
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>>528318
not op. the orion rocket is a fantasy, there's no reason to build it on earth. There are far more cost effective and safer means of getting delta v, with established and non prototypical technologies.
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>>526523
The problem is that global trade will shut down. You'll have the $10 per gallon fuel for your car but without the super cargo ships cruising across the oeans there is one less reason to avoid WW3. All of a sudden nuking China doesn't mean nuking the source of most of your goods and you will have one less competitor for what non-renewable resources remain.

Peak oil is a big deal and we should attempt to mitigate it's impact today.
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>>530075
Nothing can put as much mass into orbit as quickly as Project Orion, and perhaps more importantly Orion is fast. It could get people to Proxima Centauri in one human lifetime.

It's good to know that if push came to shove humanity could build an interstellar generation ship and make it to a nearby star system and could build most of it on Earth's surface.
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>>530075
Safer? Yes.

Cost effective? No.

In terms of pure thrust generated per $ Orion beats any chemical rocket known and SSTO aircraft are still a while off. The issue with the Orion price point is scalability. You can't make them smaller for smaller payloads. The minimum buy-in for an Orion ship is enormous as the ship itself has to be enormous. But to put a similarily sized ship put or assembled in orbit by chemical rockets would have an astronomical (pardon the pun) price-point.
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>>525167
The next step was to starve the impure races. Then to replace theit numbers with "superior" german heritage. Lastly was to erase religion like catholicism and others.
>But Germany would have superior tech
This was from what I guess Allied fear of V2 ballistic missle and the jet engine. America had its own ballistic and jet engine program but didn't see it useful enough to fund so it was dropped.
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Does Project Orion use fission bombs or thermonuclear bombs? What's the smallest thermonuclear bomb?
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>>530231
Fission. Not only that but the scientists working on the project effectively developed a nuclear shaped charge to direct energy more efficiently. Yes, you read that right. A nuclear shaped charge.

No idea about the smallest fusion explosive possible with modern technology. I suspect they're pretty large as they need a fission explosive to set them off in the first place. I've hard that in 50 years or so when we can produce enough anti-matter (only a few atoms worth) we can use their force of anti-gravity to force hydrogen atoms together. In effect creating a desktop sized fusion bomb that would have no radioactive fallout, only an initial radiation burst.
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>>530257
> we can produce enough anti-matter (only a few atoms worth) we can use their force of anti-gravity to force hydrogen atoms together.
That is the most retarded thing I've heard all day. Wherever you read that you should never read it again.
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>>530299
I read it on the internet so I give it about as much credence as your denial of it.
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>>530329
So you gave it a lot of credence? Don't do that. It's really wrong. Anti-gravity? For fuck's sake!
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>>530355
>implying I give any credence to things read on 4chan

Either way I could just have been misunderstanding the point made. I had always been under the impression anti-matter had an opposite reaction to regular matter (a repulsion or anti-gravity if you will). The point is using the energy potential of small amounts of anti-matter to force fusion of hydrogen atoms without needing a fissile catalyst.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pure_fusion_weapon
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>>518524
>>519001
Also this didn't help, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosmos_954
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>>530379
Anti-matter isn't repullessed by mass. The only difference is that antimatter has the opposite electrical charge as regular matter. That's it.
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>>530219
The first half of your post is utter garbage.
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