Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

Project Orion – The Atomic Bomb Powered Space Rocket

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If I told that here was a plan to launch a spacecraft the size of an ocean liner, that would weigh 130 times more than the Space Shuttle, could travel with unrivalled speed across our Solar System and was powered by riding on a series pulses created by exploding thousands of miniature atomic bombs, one after another, another behind the ship, you would probably say that I’d been reading too many sci-fi books or websites. However, in the 1950’s and 60’s just such an idea was taken very seriously. ‘Project Orion’ was a classified American project to harness the power …

Interview with Ex IBM-NASA Kenneth Roberts talking about Saturn V, Skylab, Spacelab and the Shuttle

Interview with Ex IBM-NASA Kenneth Roberts talking about Saturn V, Skylab, Spacelab and the Shuttle

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In this episode, I talk with Ex IBM and NASA contractor Kenneth Roberts who worked on the Saturn V, Skylab, Spacelab, the space shuttle and also helped train the crews and astronauts to understand and use the custom made flight and operational computer systems. This was a result of the request to talk to people who worked or still do work in the space/aerospace industry and I would like the thank Tennis Smith for setting up the interview and suggesting it in the first place. If you know someone that worked in the space industry and think they would like …

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? - The Sea Dragon

The Biggest Rocket ever Designed? – The Sea Dragon

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In the history of space, one rocket stands out as an icon of not only the space race but of the mighty power it symbolised. That one rocket, which is still the Tallest, heaviest and most powerful ever built, was the Saturn V, which was designed to take men to the moon and later launched the first American Space station, Skylab. But if things had been a little different back in the 60’s we might have had a different rocket to hang on the bedroom walls of the space fans of the 70’s and 80’s. In the early 1960’s, a …

How did the Apollo flight computers get men to the moon and back

How did the Apollo flight computers get men to the moon and back ?

Admin computers, Science, space 2 Comments

There is much speculation by some, as to how the flight computer aboard the Apollo missions managed to get men to the moon when it had just a tiny fraction of the computing power of something like a modern smartphone. But this is quite misleading as there was not one solitary computer controlling the Apollo craft, there were 4 computers and no fancy touch screens, GUI’s or other things in a typical computer of today to waste resources on. The first of the 4 computers was the Saturn Launch Vehicle Digital Computer or LVDC, this got the rocket from the …

What if Apollo had crashed on the Moon ?

What if Apollo had crashed on the Moon ?

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For all of the celebrations surrounding the first manned lunar landing of Apollo 11 in 1969, what is forgotten today is just how close they and the other Apollo missions flew to the edge of disaster. Apollo 11 came within seconds of aborting the landing because they had over shot the landing area and were running low on fuel. This was only one of several issues with the Apollo missions that arose that could have led to the loss of the mission and crew, though as it turned out only Apollo 13 came close to this happening. This excludes the …