In 1950’s as Freeman Dyson puts it, the Russians had Sputnik existential threat, so if you were a scientist looking for money you had a target market, and subsequently why the Orion Project was born.  The Orion project was a Nuclear powered, heavy ship built ‘more like a submarine’, in the words of Dyson.

“It was a high performance ship”
‘”We could have gone scooting around  the solar system”

He describes his work week as the hard stuff, and the Saturday morning model rocket tests as ‘proof we could do it’.  Of course he admitted the major problem being the spread of nuclear radiation throughout its entire flight, in and out of different atmospheres.  More bits of interesting information in his Big Think interview.

“The brain is a kind of amplifier which takes the freedom of movement of atoms, and translates it into freedom of movement of our whole body, that’s at least my feeling about it”

“If we had 1000 Tons of payload today we wouldn’t know how to use it”

Ship Layout

interstellar transport

 PDF Here


More Work From Freeman Dyson:
References regarding c02 and top soil:

Dyson Detractors: