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RE: starship-design: ORION

On Saturday, January 10, 1998 3:32 PM, Christoph Kulmann 
[SMTP:kulmann@zfn.uni-bremen.de] wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> There is a lot of talk in this list about a starship driven by nuclear
> explosions behind it. OK so far, but has anyone of you thought about the
> problem of shielding the drive itselve against the ENORMOUS heat
> generated by nuclear bombs? I simply cannot imagine any material able of
> a) generating enough resistance to push a ship in the range of hundreds 
> millions of tons
> 		----> AND <----
> b) NOT BEING VAPORIZED completely after 1,000 explosions!!! (or even
> less...)
> Can anyone of you explain?
> Christoph Kulmann


Check the site at: http://antimatter.phys.psu.edu/ICAN-II_Paper/index.htmla 
for full explanation, but yes, it can be done. The thrust shell is made out 
of lead and the heating loads on it do not exceed its limits. These are not 
LARGE explosions as in the original ORION and Daedelus concepts.

Of course the system currently under development/test is crude and we hope 
to do better later and any more high performance systems WOULD have a great 
deal more heating to deal with, but there are hopes there also. Actually, 
the greatest problem will be neutron radiation.