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US planned to blow up the MOON with a nuclear bomb to win Cold War bragging rights over USSR
Daily Mail (U.K.) ^ | 25 November 2012 | Daily Mail Reporter

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 ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Chit/Chat; History; Military/Veterans; Miscellaneous; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: 1950s; atomicbomb; braggingrights; coldwar; doctorstrangelove; fatman; moon; nuclearwarfare; nukes; nukethemoon; sovietunion; thebomb; ussr
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Fat Man (2nd atomic weapon used in anger) Pictures, Images and Photos

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

1 posted on 11/25/2012 4:28:41 PM PST by DogByte6RER
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2 posted on 11/25/2012 4:29:47 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Oy vey....


3 posted on 11/25/2012 4:30:24 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: DogByte6RER

Hopefully the dark side where the Decepticons frolic.


4 posted on 11/25/2012 4:31:55 PM PST by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: DogByte6RER

5 posted on 11/25/2012 4:33:41 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: DogByte6RER

Good God, what an idiot idea.


6 posted on 11/25/2012 4:33:41 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: DogByte6RER

Misleading headline alert - the plan did not involve the complete destruction of the Moon. It was lunacy, though, no question about that.


7 posted on 11/25/2012 4:34:29 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Happy 10th FR birthday to meeeeeeeeee)
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To: DogByte6RER

okaaaaayyyyy


8 posted on 11/25/2012 4:35:23 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: NonValueAdded
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.

9 posted on 11/25/2012 4:35:40 PM PST by Strategerist
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To: onyx

All that radioactive dust would have floated around and eventually got back into the Earth’s atmosphere...maybe years later.


10 posted on 11/25/2012 4:36:05 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: onyx

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

;)


11 posted on 11/25/2012 4:36:22 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: DogByte6RER
COOL!


12 posted on 11/25/2012 4:36:37 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Mind meld!


13 posted on 11/25/2012 4:37:42 PM PST by onyx (FREE REPUBLIC IS HERE TO STAY! DONATE MONTHLY! IF YOU WANT ON SARAH PALIN''S PING LIST, LET ME KNOW)
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To: DogByte6RER

Actually a nuclear explosion on the moon does send a pretty clear message about who the king of the hill really is.


14 posted on 11/25/2012 4:38:02 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DogByte6RER

Psshaw, Russia would have responded by blowing up the sun.


15 posted on 11/25/2012 4:39:05 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: NonValueAdded
It was lunacy, though, no question about that.

Luna[cy]

16 posted on 11/25/2012 4:39:05 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: DogByte6RER

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.


17 posted on 11/25/2012 4:40:31 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: pepsionice
All that radioactive dust would have floated around and eventually got back into the Earth’s atmosphere...maybe years later.

Most of the dust it kicked up would have fallen back to the moon. Besides tons of naturally occurring radioactive space dust falls to the earth every year.
18 posted on 11/25/2012 4:41:00 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: onyx
Mind meld!

Indeed!

19 posted on 11/25/2012 4:42:28 PM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

“Oh goody, goody, it’s another Uronium PU-36 explosive space modulator! Now we can blow up the Earth!”

“GET ME OUTTA HERE!!!!”

;^)


20 posted on 11/25/2012 4:42:39 PM PST by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: DogByte6RER

Someone’s been reading Frank J Fleming’s web site again.


21 posted on 11/25/2012 4:44:07 PM PST by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: NonValueAdded

There was no bomb large enough to “blow up the moon.” It might have made a nice new crater, though.


22 posted on 11/25/2012 4:44:19 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: DogByte6RER; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

Eisenhower administration gave up on the plan after realizing the explosion would have damaged the American flag planted there by Neil Armstrong, sources report.


23 posted on 11/25/2012 4:47:15 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

could we have even put the thing into orbit back then?


24 posted on 11/25/2012 4:47:26 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: DogByte6RER

“Daddy what is a moon?”

“It’s a planet that circulated around the earth before you were born, Jimmy!”


25 posted on 11/25/2012 4:49:37 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: pepsionice
All that radioactive dust would have floated around and eventually got back into the Earth’s atmosphere...maybe years later.

Which would have just added to the radioactive dust already being kicked up by the above-ground nuclear testing that was going on right here on planet earth.

26 posted on 11/25/2012 4:49:52 PM PST by Bob
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To: Jonty30

The Polish went further and launched a nuke at the sun, but they launched at night so it was a failure.


27 posted on 11/25/2012 4:50:14 PM PST by LukeL (Barack Obama: Jimmy Carter 2 Electric Boogaloo)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

We could probably build a bomb large enough to put a really major dent in the moon,if not perhaps disintegrate it.

I’m unclear why anybody would want to, though.


28 posted on 11/25/2012 4:50:23 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: DogByte6RER

Eisenhower liked golf, and he encouraged the switch from nuking the moon, to playing golf on it.

It worked, less than a generation after the demonstration, the Soviet Empire collapsed.


29 posted on 11/25/2012 4:50:41 PM PST by ansel12 (The only Senate seat GOP pick up was the Palin endorsed Deb Fischer’s successful run in Nebraska)
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To: DogByte6RER

The moon has been overrated for a long time. You can’t even write a song anymore rhyming the word ‘moon’!


30 posted on 11/25/2012 4:52:28 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: DogByte6RER

In the spirit of turn around is fair play, it’s always reassuring to know that communists, who now control the military, have named American conservatives and US Vets, the post cold war enemy of the US. Would they nuke us? The commies are plotting civil war against the Tea Party at a military academy. I’m certain it’s nothing.


31 posted on 11/25/2012 4:52:40 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: DogByte6RER

Nuking mecca would be better.


32 posted on 11/25/2012 4:52:54 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: DogByte6RER

Somewhat related: Back in the 1950’s, Edward Teller wanted to built boat harbors on the remote Alaskan coast with nuclear bombs. They called it Project Chariot. He was quoted as saying, “If you have a mountain you need moved, give us a call.” Thankfully it did not happen.


33 posted on 11/25/2012 4:53:12 PM PST by dainbramaged (My dog can talk.)
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To: cripplecreek

Actually a nuclear explosion on the moon does send a pretty clear message about who the king of the hill really is.

I think it sends a message of another kind. God gives wisom and somehow we try to use it in the wrong way. This would have been soooo wrong.


34 posted on 11/25/2012 4:55:49 PM PST by ruesrose (The Anchor Holds)
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To: DogByte6RER

Without the moon we wouldn’t have known the Moonies, Moon Zappa and Keith Moon.


35 posted on 11/25/2012 4:58:06 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Sherman Logan

We likely couldn’t do any real damage, at that point on time.

Those moon craters were created by meteorites that hit it with more force than anything we can create at the time of this report and the moon is still their.

I believe we could actually split the moon and suffer no real I’ll effects, because the gravity forces would re-meld the moon.


36 posted on 11/25/2012 4:58:23 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: dainbramaged

They also thought about using nuclear bombs as propulsion for rockets in the space program, called Project Orion.

Thank God that never went anywhere.


37 posted on 11/25/2012 4:59:17 PM PST by Shadow44
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To: dainbramaged

I think Teller was the one who came up with the idea of the “Thunder well”. Basically it was a potential means of launching payloads into space with nukes in a mine shaft. (Kinda like a big gun)


38 posted on 11/25/2012 4:59:45 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: DogByte6RER

Don’t give Obama any ideas. Anything to take the economy out of the news.


39 posted on 11/25/2012 5:01:20 PM PST by surrey
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To: Revolting cat!
Eisenhower administration gave up on the plan after realizing the explosion would have damaged the American flag planted there by Neil Armstrong, sources report.

LOL

40 posted on 11/25/2012 5:02:27 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: DogByte6RER

41 posted on 11/25/2012 5:02:30 PM PST by Beowulf9
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To: Shadow44
They also thought about using nuclear bombs as propulsion for rockets in the space program, called Project Orion.

Actually, if you aren't trying to launch them from the surface, the nuclear pulse is still very much a serious consideration.
42 posted on 11/25/2012 5:04:03 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek

Weren’t they going to try launching from the surface?


43 posted on 11/25/2012 5:05:05 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: Sherman Logan

The moon has 1.2% the mass of the earth, per Google calculator. That would be like talking of a bomb that could disintegrate a conical wedge of the earth that encompassed the continental USA... I don’t think so, not the biggest thermonuclear device ever constructed on earth.


44 posted on 11/25/2012 5:07:01 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: DogByte6RER

ping


45 posted on 11/25/2012 5:09:36 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment,a Matter of Fact,Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: bigheadfred

LOL yeah surface launches was the original plan and fortunately cooler heads prevailed before anybody tried.

Aside from the surface launch, the idea has merit. Some petty serious guys like Freeman Dyson worked on the idea.


46 posted on 11/25/2012 5:12:28 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

A ray of sense on this silly thread.


47 posted on 11/25/2012 5:15:09 PM PST by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Obi Wan Kanobi: That's no moon, it's a space station!

Well, by the looks of it, it seems like a good idea to me!

Destroy it! Blow it up!

48 posted on 11/25/2012 5:15:38 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: DogByte6RER

Yer Damn Skippy !


49 posted on 11/25/2012 5:15:42 PM PST by onona (It's a good day to celebrate life)
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To: DogByte6RER

On the other hand, the British had nukes that they stuffed with live chickens to keep the works from getting too cold to function.

Radioactive Chickensh*t Rain would be the forerunner of Nuclear Winter.


50 posted on 11/25/2012 5:16:50 PM PST by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (Vendetta))
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