Monday, February 25, 2008

Project Orion.

In 1958, Project Orion was formed at General Atomics (a defense contractor), seeking to design spacecraft powered by nuclear pulses — in other words, bombs. The project designed incredibly large vessels, with theoretical sizes ranging up to 400 meters in diameter and weighing 8,000,000 tons. The ships were intended to travel to Saturn and Venus carrying large crews — but the project ended in the early 1960’s without building a full-scale vehicle.

To put that number in perspective, the current Nimitz class aircraft carriers check in at about 100,000 tons-so were talking about a spaceship that's the size of 80 of them.