Project New Orion: Pulsed Nuclear Space Propulsion Using Photofission Activated by Ultra-Intense Laser

Robert LeMoyne, Timothy Mastroianni
2016 Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics  
Project New Orion entails a pulsed nuclear space propulsion system that utilizes photofission through the implementation of an ultra-intense laser. The historical origins derive from the endeavors of Project Orion, which utilized thermonuclear devices to impart a considerable velocity increment on the respective spacecraft. The shear magnitude of Project Orion significantly detracts from the likelihood of progressive research development testing and evaluation. Project New Orion incorporates a
more » ... ion incorporates a more feasible pathway for the progressive research development testing and evaluation of the pulsed nuclear space propulsion system. Photofission through the application of an ultra-intense laser enables a much more controllable and scalable nuclear yield. The energy source for the ultra-intense laser is derived from a first stage liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen chemical propulsion system. A portion of the thermal/kinetic energy of the rocket propulsive fluid is converted to electrical energy through a magneto-hydrodynamic generator with cryogenic propellant densification for facilitating the integral superconducting magnets. Fundamental analysis of Project New Orion demonstrates the capacity to impart a meaningful velocity increment through ultra-intense laser derived photofission on a small spacecraft.
doi:10.4236/jamp.2016.44071 fatcat:2x6sgwye3nagjfwkhiu5h46lie