Thursday, August 04, 2005

Lunar Landing verison of Project Orion compared to Sakharov's Atomic launcher

Found at

Vs. Sakharov's launcher design

Animated with Flash here click on "Majiee" near the bottom.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Another Russian Article on the Soviet Орион (созвездие) (Orionski) program

Aleksandr zheleznyakov


This idea considerably outdistanced its time. They formulated it at the end 1940- X it was annual, and for the first time they attempted to personify into the life after ten years. But then it did not come out. They reflected above the problem more lately. Also without the success. Today, when we began to know much more, the realization of this undertaking generally seems impossible. At least, in the forseeable future. It can be, much later will be located those, who will propose something original. Then humanity again recalls about this idea, and works will be in full swing with the new force. But our descendants learn and will write about this. But we everything about the past. And about those, whose contemporaries to us it had luck to be.


During July 1961 all chief Soviet specialist- atom mongers obtained urgent invitation into the Kremlin. Them there accepted the first secretary of the CC CPSU, the Chairman of the council of ministers OF USSR Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev informed about the solution accepted by government to renew nuclear tests. During the "autumn-winter session" it was intended to verify all types of the warheads, which were located in the arsenals of the Soviet Army.
However, not only the bringing of this important information became the purpose of that taking place then conversation. Soviet leader also interested the last work of specialists in the field of creating the nuclear armaments. Well and other projects, connected with the use of atomic energy, including for the peaceful purposes.
Andrey dmitriyevich Saxarov been present at the encounter described to Khrushchev about the possibility of designing of 100- megaton thermonuclear charge. This idea soared in air and it is earlier, but it acquired real features only during that July day. Thought was pleased to Khrushchev, and it sanctioned works on the preparation of charge for the testing. The explosion "of Tsar- bomb" (sometimes it still is called "kuz'kinoy mother", recalling Khrushchev's intention "to show" her America) was produced by the autumn of the same year. True, to explode the charge of total power did not decide, but also 58 megatons, which came out in the reality, also "not tomcat cried enough". On this episode of the "Cold War" is written several; therefore there is no sense to be repeated.
But it is here about other project, about which also described Saxarov, known much less. The discussion deals with the development, which itself Andrey dmitriyevich carried to the discharge of "science fiction" ideas - the spacecraft, which is set in motion by a sequential series of the nuclear explosions of small power. This project is now known as the "explosive-years of Saxarov".
In order more not to return to the Kremlin, I will say that this idea was also pleased to Khrushchev. But, if with the 100- megaton the solution was accepted by bomb without delay, then above a question of the creation of atomic kosmoleta by scientist it was proposed to still think and only when it will acquire real features to raise a question about its realization. The then first secretary of party proved to be shrewd!


Today, when they mention about the spacecraft of the nuclear explosions for their motion using energy, they persistently date the generation of idea by boundary 1950-X-1960- X it is annual. This thought appeared to the decade earlier in reality. In general form formulated its Georgiy antonovich Gamow soon after 2-1 world war. But then yet they did not fly into space; therefore they related to it as to the attempt to glimpse into the future. And not and what is more. They were turned more lately to the idea of atomoletov: Americans attempted to realize it in the design of the creation of spaceship "Orion", well and in our country appeared already mentioned above the "explosive-years of Saxarov".
Simply I cannot but use the case and not describe, at least briefly, about Georgiy Gamow, our compatriot, who, by the will of fates, became "well-known American theoretical physicist". In spite of the world acknowledgement of merits, in our country its name for a long time was under the ban. Only recently about it "recalled". Even then, is faster because of the mode to similar "discoveries", than from the desire to restore historical validity and to render proper to its merits.
Was borne Georgiy antonovich Gamow in Odessa on 4 March, 1904, in the family of the instructors of Odessa secondary school. Father in the rank of state councilor taught the Russian language and literature, and mother history and geography.
The childhood, which arrived for the years of the 1st world war, revolution, Civil War and interventions Gamow conducted in native Odessa, there he entered also into the university. But, dissatisfied by the obtained formation, was transferred into the Leningrad university. There to Gamow it had luck to not long learn in professor Aleksandr Friedman (passed away in 1925 at the age of 37 years), who smog is better to be dismantled at the cosmological consequences of the general theory of relativity (FROM) of Einstein, than its creator himself. Analyzing equations OTO, Friedman arrived at the conclusion about the transiency of the universe, with which Einstein for long could not be reconciled. Later Einstein recognized after all Friedman's rightness. This encounter of 20-year student with Friedman gave to Gamow the first pulse to his works of boundary 1940 - the 50th it was annual, in which it based its concept of large explosion and the so-called "hot universe".
But this will be then, and thus far, after finishing in 1926 instruction at the university, Gamow with the head dips into other problems. After only two years young scientist, using some positions of quantum physics, by the first in the world created the theory of alpha decay, one of the types of radioactivity, thus, "after outdistancing" many coryphaei of this new discipline. Academician Abraham Fedorovich Joffe, who invited him to the work into the physicotechnical institute, noted the theoretical work of Gamow. In those years in "kindergarten of dad of Joffe" were gathered many young scientists, who after the years made the noticeable contribution to national and world physics. Georgiy Gamow was one of them.
In 1931 the director of radium institute academician Vladimir vernadskiy advanced 27 summer Gamows into the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and for following yr he became the corresponding member youngest in her history. But the complete academician of the AS USSR Gamow judged was become...
In 1933 according to Joffe's recommendation they ship Gamow into the foreign mission for the acquaintance with the physical laboratories of the West. But after yr occurred the event, which led to the long years of oblivion in our country - Gamow makes the decision not to return to the Soviet Union and he leaves to THE USA, where he becomes the professor of the university George of Washington. The motive of this act is clear. Remain Gamow on the native land, with his self-reliance and independence together with the sharp language (but Georgiy antonovich, to entire other, it possessed even and by undoubted literary talent) was great the probability that 1937 it did not survive. Like many other talented Soviet scientists, "sgorevshiye" in the hearth of totalitarian regime. Certainly, it is offensive that it occurred so, but not otherwise. But, which happened, then happened. Both "from the song of words not to throw out" and time not to turn backwards.
Gamow begins to work in America and in 1936 together with the associate on the university, the professor Edvard Teller, the future "father of American H-bomb", generalizes theory one additional type of radioactivity - beta decay. Into physical science enters new concept "cooperation of Gamow- Teller". The collaboration of two physicists was very fruitful and, probably, it could lead to the new significant discoveries, if not 2-4 world war. In 1941 Teller it leaves university and becomes a participant in the development of A-bomb. Could participate in these works and Gamow, but him they did not draw to the "mankhetenskomu project". It is customary to assume that to this "assisted" the Russian roots of scientist. Can this and so, but, it is more probable, reasons lie in another plane. In what precisely, guess not I will be.
But "uncalled-for" Gamow, meanwhile, switched his attention from the "terrestrial problems" to astrophysics and cosmology. The outstanding scientist, he widely used in his works about the starry evolution nuclear physics. First in the world he began to calculate the models of stars with the thermonuclear fusions, and in 1942 he proposed the shell model of the red giant.
In 1946-1948 Gamow developed the theory of the formation of chemical elements by sequential neutron seizure. In the same years he by the first in the world advanced the theory of the "hot universe", from which escaped existence of the relict emission, which was being formed at the moment of large explosion. This theory was subsequently confirmed by the American researchers by Arnaud penzias and Robert Wilson, for which in 1978 they were honored the Nobel Prize.
Approximately in the same years, and by that time already passed testing the first A-bomb and, moreover, it they had time to use against the Japanese it was municipal, Gamow advanced the idea of the creation of nuclear engines with the use in them of nuclear warheads. Here is it, the idea of "explosive-years"! Entirely then it they did not estimate. Yes even we could not this make for lack of the knowledge in this region of those days.
Gamow advanced and many others of the ideas, which had a significant effect on science. For example, in 1954 they published the work, where the problem of the genetic code for the first time was placed. In the article Gamow proved, that "with the combination of 4 nucleotides by troikas are obtained by 64 different combinations, what it is completely sufficient for" the record of hereditary information ". In 1968 the Americans of Robert kholli, Jaras the Koran and Marshall Nirenberg obtained the Nobel Prize for the interpretation of the genetic code, i.e., for the fact that Gamow in general first formulated. It can be, it was one of laureates of this reward, but it they gave already when Gamow was dead. But the Nobel Prize, as is known, they award only with the life.
Died Georgiy antonovich on 19 August, 1968, in the American city Boulder, that in the state of Colorado. In 1990 to it they posthumous returned the title of the corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. However, it cannot be said that it obtained on the native land proper acknowledgement. Although, in Odessa in recent years regularly are conducted the astronomical schools and the physical conferences, dedicated to its memory. And nevertheless this it is small for this significant figure in the world of science. But this already policy.


You will excuse, 4 somewhat was distracted. It arrived time to describe about that, about which Saxarov it mentioned in the conversation with Nikitoy to Khrushchevs.
Andrey dmitriyevich and his associate, and cannot be forgotten that the project of "explosive-years" was creation collective, they was going to use nuclear explosions of low power for the conclusion into space of the payload of the significant mass (more than 1000 tons). This allowed for crew of ship long time it find in space. Themselves you understand, that all calculations were performed with the sight to the flight to Mars. By this idea then dreamed many Soviet scientists. And not only they dreamed, but also worked at the creation of such ships. "explosive-years" - only one of such projects, and, not basic. The schematic diagram of "explosive-years" in that form, as it initially proposed Saxarov, was given in Fig. 1.
Structurally future atomolet it had to consist of control compartment, crew compartment, section for positioning of nuclear charges, main propulsion engine system and liquid propellant rocket engines. Ship also had to have a feed system of nuclear charges and a system of damping for the levelling off of rocket after nuclear explosions. Well certainly the tanks of a sufficient tank for the fuel stocks and oxidizer. In the lower part of the ship had to be fastened the screen with a diameter of 15-25 meter, in focus of which had to "thunder" the nuclear explosions.
Ground start had to occur on the liquid propellant rocket engines, placed on the lower supports. Fuel- and was intended to give oxidizer from the external attached fuel tanks, which could be separated after emptying. On the liquid-propellant engines the apparatus rose to an altitude of several kilometers (or tens of kilometers), after which was included the main propulsion engine system of ship, in which was used the energy of the sequential explosions of the nuclear charges of low power. At the proposal of Saxarov with the study of construction a question about the arrangement in the crew quarters of the ship of plantations with the chlorella taking into account the nourishment of 10-20 people was examined. The design concept of this ship is given in Fig. 2.
In the process of the work on "explosive-in summer" were examined and counted several versions the constructions of different overall sizes. Accordingly, changed the starting mass, and the mass of payload, which it was possible to place in orbit. But, it is necessary to note that in spite of the significant masses of construction, it was not characterized by large sizes. For example, PK -3000 with a starting mass of 3 thousand tons had the height of approximately 60 it was meter, and PK -5000 with a starting mass of 5 thousand tons - less than 75 was meter. The payload, concluded in orbit, in these versions was 800 and 1300 tons respectively.
Simple calculation shows that the mass-ratio of payload to starting mass exceeded 25 percent. But now you will compare this number with the contemporary rockets, with starting of which into space it is possible to derive not more than 7-8 percent of starting mass.
As the launch pad for the "explosive-years" it was intended to select one of the regions on the north of the Soviet Union. Designers not without reason assumed that for the start of new spacecraft it is necessary to construct special spaceport. This place of starting was selected of two considerations. First, the north latitudes made it possible to lay the course of the rocket above the almost inaccessible sparsely populated regions. In the case of emergency this made it possible to avoid "excess" victims. In the second place, the "starting" of nuclear engine far from the equatorial plane out of the zone of the so-called "trapping region of geomagnetic field" it made it possible to avoid the appearance of artificial radiation belts, with which more narrowly it was necessary to encounter during the nuclear explosions in space.
Certainly, "explosive-years" it had not only pluses, but also minuses. The environmental pollution, which it had to occur with the realization of nuclear explosions in the earth's atmosphere, was one of them. But about this they thought "inasmuch as since". I.e., practically they did not take into consideration. If works conducted today, then hardly designers would limit to an altitude of several kilometers. The starting of nuclear engine would occur at the height not less than 100 kilometers. But then ex-nova rocket became not so effective as the given above calculations.
However, everything which then naproyektirovali Andrey Saxarov and other specialist- atom mongers, so remained on the paper. In practice the task of developing the "explosive-years" proved to be very complex. Nevertheless, as a result of design works was nevertheless made conclusion about the possibility of designing of the engine system, which uses energy of nuclear explosions. True, it was specified, which for this will be necessary to solve many associated tasks. Such as the development of new materials for the mirror and other parts of nuclear engine as the design of the corresponding nuclear charges as the creation of the matching system of the subsistence of crew and others. Could not be this made, until now; therefore they speak about similar automatic spacecraft as about the matter of distant future.

But the idea of "explosive-years" did not die together with those, who formulated it and attempted to personify into the life. During March 2004 on "kharitonovskikh readings", dedicated to 100- anniversary from the birthday of academician, scientific from the institute of computational mathematics of Siberian department RAN [RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE], institute the mathematicians of the name Sobolyev and their associate from the Crimean astrophysical observatory presented the calculations of the systems of the nuclear opposition to collision of asteroids with the Earth. At their basis the same principles, by which were guided the creators of the design of "spaceship", lay.

("secret materials", № 9(162), April of 2005, ss. 16-17).

P.S. Figures are accessible only in the printed version of article.

Literature serach for the Soviet Орион (созвездие) (Orionski) program

Derek Lyons wrote:
> "bombardmentforce" wrote:
> >I wouldn't have the confidence to debate the Soviet Orion program
> >without some documents at hand, have you located anything better?
> I don't need to locate anything better. The evidence you've produced
> to date fail to support your claim - there's no need for me to
> disprove it when you have failed to prove it.
> D.
> --

Here is the literature related to the critical July 10,1961 "Tsar Bomba" meeting I've found so far...

Sakharov Memoirs ISBN#0394537408
index space pgs 147, 149, 156, 177, 181, 581

149:1960-61:"laser to ignite..pellets...thermonuclear impulse
propulsion engines for spacecraft..."

215: "I went on to describe some of my department's more exotic
projects, such as the use of nuclear explosions to power spacecraft
and other "science fiction" schemes. (I have learned from Freeman
Dyson's Disturbing the Universe that in 1958 he too began studying
the feasibility of a nuclear spaceship in the American Orion Project.)

221:"I was concerned that the military couldn't use it without an
effective carrier (a bomber would be to easy to shoot down). I
dreamed up the idea of a giant torpedo, launched form a submarine and
fitted with an atomic powered jet engine that would convert water to
Project Orion ISBN#0805059857
266:"I went on to describe some of my department's more exotic
projects, such as the use of nuclear explosions to power spacecraft
and other "science fiction" schemes".
267:"Vladimir Shmelev... monitored what the Orion group was up to..."

Khrushchev remembers. #0316831417 - No obvious reference.
With an introd., commentary, and notes by Edward Crankshaw. Translated and edited by Strobe Talbott.
by Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971.
Boston, Little, Brown [c1970]

38 other books here

Posting at

Babelfish translated
Another version

Author Александр Железняков
"I will say that this idea was also pleased to Khrushchev."

"In the lower part of the ship had to be fastened the screen with a diameter of 15-25 m, in focus of which had to "thunder" the nuclear explosions."- Screen not copied from the American program.

"In the second place, the "starting" of nuclear engine far from the equatorial plane out of the zone of the so-called trapping region of geomagnetic field made it possible to avoid the appearance of artificial radiation belts."

"For example, "PK -3000" ("the manned complex" with a starting mass of 3000 t) had the height of approximately 60 m, and "PK -5000" ("the manned complex" with a starting mass of 5000 t) - less than 75 m. the payload, concluded in orbit, in these versions it was 800 and 1300 t respectively." Lower ISP than Taylor?

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