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Pulsed Nuclear Space Propulsion, researched in the 1950s and 1960s by such eminent physicists as Freeman Dyson, Ted Taylor, Theodore von Karman, and Hans Bethe, involves pro- pelling large spacecraft using compact nuclear explosions from specialized atomic devices. This technology is often known by the name of the Air Force project in which it was developed: Orion.

It has long been believed that the 1962 Limited Test Ban Treaty prohibits the use of nuclear pulse space propulsion. After a survey of the Orion project and its results and a review of the applicable law, this Article concludes that language in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty may override the Test Ban agreement to permit non-weapons use of nuclear explosives for propulsion.

With a new space race taking place and with important actors such as China not subject to the Test Ban Treaty at all, the sub- ject of pulsed nuclear space propulsion deserves another look. We hope that this Article serves as a springboard for further discussion.

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