May 13, 2005
Going Nuclear on Prometheus

Bruce Gagnon seems to be spending a lot of time fretting about Prometheus lately (as usual, incorrectly describing it as a "nuclear rocket"):

I will say this. We do intend to run a global campaign to Park Project Prometheus. We want to park it in the annals of history alongside past nuclear rocket schemes like Orion, Rover, NERVA, and Timberwind. All previous generations of the nuclear rocket were cancelled because of enormous cost and fear of the environmental consequences of an accident. What makes anyone think that the reaction to Prometheus will be any different?
Forget for a moment the questionable accuracy of this assessment (Dewar's history of NERVA/ROVER suggests its cancellation had as much to do with interpersonal rivalries within Congress and the Executive Branch and with the lack of a mission for NTR post-Apollo as anything else) -- does anyone else see in this seemingly sudden spike in interest and activity a setup timed to take propaganda advantage of the long-coming restructuring of Prometheus?

UPDATE: As mentioned previously, his new comrade Cynthia McKinney has issued her "Dear Colleague" letter.

And in answer to one of the comments at Jeff's site, the test in question was called "KIWI-TNT".

Posted by T.L. James on May 13, 2005 12:29 AM


Someone tell Gagnon how the Sun works. That ought to distract him for a long time.

Posted by: billg at May 13, 2005 12:03 PM

A couple of stooges. If we build Prometheus, may be we launch these two boneheads to Europa on it.

Posted by: Jim Rohrich at May 14, 2005 11:53 AM

Europa's not a good choice, given the possibility of warm seas beneath the ice. Wouldn't want to contaminate the place before we've had a chance to study it for signs of life. New Horizons might be better -- I imagine the environment on Pluto would be rather more "peaceful".

Posted by: T.L. James at May 15, 2005 09:19 AM