One of the last, if not the last, chapters in my Nuclear Pulse Propulsion book will be on NPP in popular culture. Mostly, of course, this means nuclear pulse spacecraft in science fiction… short stories, novels, TV, movies. These vehicles will get layout diagrams just like the non-fiction concepts.
With designs that are complex or difficult to really work out – which covers just about all fictional designs – I’ve found that it is a whole lot easier to build the vehicle as a 3D CAD model and then convert that into a 2D diagram. A bonus of doing it this way is that perspective views are also possible. So because why not, here are some of the fictional NPP’s that will appear in the book, along with the current status list for NPP diagrams (green means the diagram is done, yellow means it’s in progress, red means I haven’t started or haven’t gone beyond preliminary scribble). Some of the fictional designs, such as the “Orion Shall Rise” and the Tycho were drawn in 2D right from the get-go. Currently being pieced together is the Archangel Michael. It is a bit different from the usual depiction in a number of ways, most obvious being the straight shock absorbers. I understand the reasoning behind those designs that use angled and pivoting shocks to allow the pusher “dome” to swing with respect to the rest of the ship… but I still don’t agree that that’s a good engineering solution. Once you get the dome swinging, getting it to *stop* is going to be a friggen nightmare, especially if the ship remains under thrust. The dynamics of a spring system like this with that many degrees of freedom would be massively complex, never mind the actual mechanics. Oh well. Anyway, my “Michael” is still far from finished. The interior is only roughly sketched out, armament is currently rough and incomplete and secondary payloads need a lot of work.
In the final book, these fictional designs will get not only orthogonal views, but also to greater or lesser degrees “rationalization.” Some designs I can’t honestly make any real sense of, and thus they’ll get the bare bones. Some I can dream up a fair bit of (essentially fan fiction) explanation for, so they’ll get further detail work.