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Nuclear Pulse Engine Operation Diagram by William-Black Nuclear Pulse Engine Operation Diagram by William-Black
The diagram illustrates pusher plate cycling during propulsive maneuvers.

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From GA-5009 Volume 3 Nuclear Pulse Space Vehicle Study Vol. III Conceptual Vehicle Designs and Operational Systems.

Operation of the nuclear pulse engine can be briefly described as follows: Nuclear pulse units are ejected successively, falling behind the vehicle to the specified 25 meter detonation point. As the pulse unit nears the detonation point it is armed by a signal from the pulse unit firing computer located in the body of the propulsion module, at the detonation point they are exploded. The pulse units are designed in such a manner that when they are exploded a large fraction of their mass is propelled toward a heavy circular disc (the pusher) which forms the base of the vehicle. Interaction of the high-velocity propellant with the pusher drives the pusher upward, and the shock-absorber system attached to the pusher transfers the momentum to the upper sections of the vehicle at accelerations tolerable to sensitive payloads.

Special Thanks to Winchell Chung of Atomic Rockets. His text and Pusher-Cycle diagram which served as reference for this render.

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:icondelta7xx:
delta7Xx Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2017
with the orion drive, we'd be able to reach alpha centuari within around 140 years or so...
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