|Key components of the Orion drive|
Orion would have offered performance greater than the most advanced conventional or nuclear rocket engines then under consideration. Supporters of Project Orion felt that it had potential for cheap interplanetary travel, but it lost political approval over concerns with fallout from its propulsion.
|Artist's conception of an Orion drive powered spacecraft|
Freeman Dyson, group leader on the project, estimated back in the 1960s that with conventional nuclear weapons each launch would statistically cause on average between 0.1 and 1 fatal cancers from the fallout.