Search This Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

100-Year Starship: the Navy Weighs In

In 1987 and 1988 the US Naval Academy teamed up with NASA to develop their own version of an atomic-pulse driven ship to the stars. Their version was unmanned, and their destination was very specifically the Alpha Centauri system. Most of the actual advances Project Longshot put forward which actually improved upon Project Orion were in developing the details of a functional pulse-propulsion system. Orion hatched the concept, Longshot started delving into the nuts and bolts.

Some of the astronomy was less than stellar. The star Project Longshot refers to as "Beta Centauri" is actually Alpha Centauri B. I hope. Also, the orbital period of Proxima Centauri, if in fact Proxima orbits A and B at all, is so huge as to render considerations of it utterly insignificant within the span of a human lifetime, or a short interstellar space mission. Nonetheless, the Annapolis pukes US Naval Academy scientists and engineers contributed significantly to the discussion of atomic pulsed propulsion.

Here's the pdf of Project Longshot:

No comments:

Post a Comment