TRS UpdateOctober 22, 2009
Slow going right now. Busy, so less time to write, but also I’ve been having to reread stuff I read a couple of years ago. Specifically, it’s the George Dyson “Project Orion” book I’ve had to go back to right now. I recommend it highly, by the way. What a great time i their lives it must have been for those guys, in 1958 and ’59, working out the physics of travel around the solar system with spaceships that could lift 4,000 tons. They had a brand-new research facility in a gorgeous location, excellent leadership, and a million dollars from the US Government to “think about stuff.” They came up with incredible ideas – and many of those are still classified today!
The Draka version is a bit different, of course. In our world, nuclear test ban treaties shut Orion down before it ever had a real chance to be built. I don’t think the Alliance for Democracy would ever agree to a nuclear test ban with the Domination! Besides, the Alliance owned the Pacific, giving them ample opportunity to launch big stuff from small, remote islands if the desert southwest of the US got too crowded.
My first test of a sub-sized prototype Orion takes place at Jackass Flats, of course. It was actually a test site used by General Atomics, as well as a place where the prototype nuclearramjet engine was tested for Project Pluto. (Now there was a scary piece of hardware!)