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Meridian Speeches

Project Orion

Presented by: Freeman Dyson  (Institute for Advanced Study)
Category: Special Interest   Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes   Broadcast date: November 17, 2005
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Project Orion was the first engineering design study of a spacecraft powered by nuclear pulse propulsion, an idea proposed first by Stanis?aw Ulam during 1947. Freeman Dyson, theoretical physicist at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study and a long-time member of the JASON defense advisory group, was a key participant in this project from 1957 to 1961. Dr. Dyson recounts his personal experiences of this extraordinary US government-backed attempt to build a spaceship the size of an ocean liner and send it to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, propelled by thousands of miniature nuclear bombs.