Nuclear pulse spacecraft, artwork

Nuclear pulse spacecraft, artwork

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Caption: Nuclear pulse spacecraft near a star, artwork. This theoretical future spaceship technology was proposed by NASA in the 1950s as part of Project Orion. Nuclear detonations behind a 'pusher plate' (lower right) would provide the spaceship's momentum. 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, though the technology was viable, the project was abandoned in the 1960s due to concerns about nuclear fallout.

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