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Nuke Spaceship Docs Revealed

by jason on October 18, 2006

In the late 1950’s, the U.S. government began research into an interplanterary spacecraft that relied on nuclear detonations for propulsion. The effort, dubbed “Project Orion,” died quietly ater a few years. But many of the documents surrounding the atomic spaceship have remained hidden or classified for more than four decades.
Boing Boing has a bunch of ‘em up, now — as well as an interview with tech historian George Dyson, who’s dad worked on Orion. Check it out.
UPDATE 11:15 AM: “Orion is interesting from a military technology point of view, partly because it was literally a ‘space battleship’ with a large stock of nuclear warheads it could deliver anywhere on the planet,” says David Hambling. “In particular, there is a program mentioned in [Dyson’s] book called ‘Casaba Howitzer’ which is a nuke with highly directional blast, suitable for attacking buried installations etc. Casaba Howitzer is still, as far as I know, highly classified with no details anywhere.”

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