Saturday, April 10, 2010

More on the Douglas Orion

Scott Lowther provides more details on the Douglas Orion vehicle.  A few quick points:
  1. It has a small, curved pusher plate.
  2. Fuel is a thick layer of ablative material on the plate vs. an external 'propellant' that is vaporized and impacts the plate.
  3. Bombs are not ejected through the plate but rather in radial mechanisms.  Since these can not be in line of sight of the explosions, the bombs need active guidance.
I'm not a nuclear physicist or a real rocket scientist, but I agree with Scott that this does not sound like a good design.  That assumes nuclear pulse propulsion could ever have been feasible.