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The Big Banger

2004-11-08 21:26:27.08049+00 by petronius 2 comments

Ted Taylor is dead. In the 1950s he was the world's greatest designer of atom bombs. Among them were the smallest ever built, the Davey Crockett, which was about the size of a musk melon and had a yield of only 10 tens of TNT,as well as the most powerful non-hydrogen bomb. John McPhee wrote an interesting book about him some years ago, The Curve of Binding Energy. However, this obit from The Times of London concentrates on his most magnificent idea: Orion, a huge spacecraft fuelled by dropping a-bombs behind it and riding the shockwave to the planets. He planned an enormous vehicle that would take 8 men and 1000 pounds of cargo on a 125-day round trip to Mars. The takeoff would have been a bitch,(5 a-bombs to orbit)but damn, what a ride it could have been!

[ related topics: Space & Astronomy Astronomy Travel ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-11-08 22:20:20.913888+00 by: ziffle

hmm - how did they slow down? Drop a bombs in front of them?

#Comment Re: made: 2004-11-09 10:49:38.162312+00 by: jeff

By contrast, the world's largest fusion nuclear bomb, the Tsar Bomba: