Saturday, June 28, 2008

A-Blasts Propel the Atomic Pulse Rocket Into Space (1960)

"This is the Atomic Pulse Rocket, a pot-bellied ship nearly the size of the Empire State Building, propelled by a series of atomic blasts." Sure, it sounds like a bad idea now but back then it was on the cutting edge: it only needed "a thousand atomic blasts -- each equal to 1,000 tons of TNT" to push the 75,000 ton behemoth out of Earth's atmosphere. Once transit speed was reached, things went green: power was then provided by "solar batteries plating the wing and body surfaces."

This is essentially the craft envisioned by Project Orion -- which wouldn't, incidentally, use nuclear blasts within Earth's atmosphere.

No comments: