1950s Orion nuclear rocket, artwork

1950s Orion nuclear rocket, artwork

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1950s Orion nuclear rocket. Artwork of the nuclear pulse propulsion rocket proposed by NASA in the 1950s as part of Project Orion. The rocket is shown approaching Mars (upper right). At the rear of the rocket is the metre-thick pusher plate where small nuclear explosions would have been used to propel it forward. The crew module is at the other end of the spacecraft. The project was intended to make future space travel cheap and efficient, and to greatly reduce travel time to nearby planets such as Mars, and the outer planets such as Saturn. However, the project was abandoned in the 1960s due to concerns about nuclear fallout.

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