Skip to comments.US planned to blow up the MOON with a nuclear bomb to win Cold War bragging rights over USSR
Posted on 11/25/2012 4:28:28 PM PST by DogByte6RER
Revealed: How the U.S. planned to blow up the MOON with a nuclear bomb to win Cold War bragging rights over Soviet Union
- Scientists were hoping for giant flash on the moon that would intimidate the Soviet Union
- Aim of mission was to launch the nuke by 1959
- Plan was later scrapped due to possible danger to people on Earth
It may sound like a plot straight out of a science fiction novel, but a U.S. mission to blow up the moon with a nuke was very real in the 1950s.
At the height of the space race, the U.S. considered detonating an atom bomb on the moon as a display of America's Cold War muscle.
The secret project, innocuously titled 'A Study of Lunar Research Flights' and nicknamed 'Project A119,' was never carried out
However, its planning included calculations by astronomer Carl Sagan, then a young graduate student, of the behavior of dust and gas generated by the blast.
Viewing the nuclear flash from Earth might have intimidated the Soviet Union and boosted U.S. confidence after the launch of Sputnik, physicist Leonard Reiffel told the AP in a 2000 interview.
Reiffel, now 85, directed the inquiry at the former Armour Research Foundation, now part of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He later served as a deputy director at NASA.
Sagan, who later became renowned for popularizing science on television, died in 1996.
The author of one of Sagan's biographies suggested that he may have committed a security breach in 1959 after revealing the classified project in an academic fellowship application. Reiffel concurred.
Under the scenario, a missile carrying a small nuclear device was to be launched from an undisclosed location and travel 238,000 miles to the moon, where it would be detonated upon impact.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Plot: The U.S. was planning to launch an atomic bomb, like Fat Man, pictured above, that would be launched into space in a scrapped plan to blow up the moon
Hopefully the dark side where the Decepticons frolic.
Good God, what an idiot idea.
Misleading headline alert - the plan did not involve the complete destruction of the Moon. It was lunacy, though, no question about that.
We really need a policy to keep British tabloids out of news, at least. I think a lot of people don't realize they're tabloids.
All that radioactive dust would have floated around and eventually got back into the Earth’s atmosphere...maybe years later.
5 posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:33:41 PM by Las Vegas Ron
6 posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 4:33:41 PM by onyx
Actually a nuclear explosion on the moon does send a pretty clear message about who the king of the hill really is.
Psshaw, Russia would have responded by blowing up the sun.
That was the era of big thinkers. I would have favored this being done of the 4th of July, just to underscore the point.
Why nuke the moon? Because we can.
“Oh goody, goody, it’s another Uronium PU-36 explosive space modulator! Now we can blow up the Earth!”
“GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!”
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