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Revealed: How the U.S.
planned to blow up the
MOON with a nuclear bomb
to win Cold War bragging
rights over Soviet Union

Daily Mail (UK), Associated Press, by Staff

Original Article

Posted By:JoniTx, 11/26/2012 4:57:12 PM

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.

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: pizzaman, 11/26/2012 5:02:46 PM     (No. 9034854)

Detonating a nuke on the moon is not blowing it up.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: paulfromTexas, 11/26/2012 5:05:30 PM     (No. 9034860)

An uncle of mine was Chief of Atmospheric Sciences Observatory at White Sands when these things were considered.
Though he revealed no secrets he would relate some of the questions he was asked.
One was " can artillery be fired on the moon?"( We had at the time in our arsenal nuclear artillery shells...)
He told them "No."

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Reply 3 - Posted by: FastEddie, 11/26/2012 5:06:18 PM     (No. 9034861)

If the "explosion" doesn´t make a sound (vacuum, ya know....) then did it really explode?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Attila DiMedici, 11/26/2012 5:11:23 PM     (No. 9034870)

Good, and important, point #1.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: LittleHoodedMonk, 11/26/2012 5:17:37 PM     (No. 9034875)

You wouldn´t want to mess with something that controls our tides, or our passions [ardor] when the Moon is full.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: DocH, 11/26/2012 5:26:35 PM     (No. 9034881)

There´s a full moon tonight. Go get some binoculars and look at it. See all those craters. All the ones that are big enough to see are caused by chunks of rock that, when they hit, created an explosion that dwarfed any bomb we have in our arsenal.

´´Blow up the moon,´´ my rosy red patootie.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: curious1, 11/26/2012 5:27:07 PM     (No. 9034883)

#2, sorry, but of course artillery can be fired on the moon, just as rifles and pistols, or bazookas could be. The propellant has it´s own oxidizer chemically included.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Northcross, 11/26/2012 5:31:47 PM     (No. 9034889)

1. A nuclear bomb would not "blow up" the moon.

2. Just because someone might have secretly studied the idea does not mean that we planned to do it.

Pathetic reporting. What was the point?

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Reply 9 - Posted by: KTWO, 11/26/2012 5:31:50 PM     (No. 9034890)

Keep watching the skies. There is no reason to think the US government is any less crazy than it ever was.

During the late 50s and early 60s I was in a position to hear many proposals and ideas. Not important enough to influence them.

And the rumors about Soviet schemes were even wilder.

Much of the fun involved animals. Dogs, cats, pigeons, dolphins, ........

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Reply 10 - Posted by: mackrand, 11/26/2012 5:34:20 PM     (No. 9034895)

I don´t think that even the EMP would be that strong from that distance but I could imagine our night skies would be alight for years with all the dust particles blown into the interface between the moon and here. We would have millions of meteorites striking the atmosphere for years. Might even be enough to make it perilous for high flying passenger jets.

It is something I imagine that would result from a late night brainstorming pizza and beer party at the Pentagon.

And look who we have with the magic suitcase.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Grambo, 11/26/2012 5:38:38 PM     (No. 9034902)

The Daily Mail would do well to assign writers to this sort of story who have some science training. I lament the degree of technological illiteracy we see in reporting, and generally in the populace today.

Of course a bomb wouldn’t blow up the moon. A few megatons is nothing to a body that may well have experienced impacts of giga- or tetra-ton magnitudes.


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Reply 12 - Posted by: iamtinman, 11/26/2012 6:05:43 PM     (No. 9034931)

Some days I hate the Daily Mail, some days it´s good comic relief. This is one of the days I hate it!

In every administration all kinds of ideas are promulgated, some good, some bad, some like this one just flat out stupid. It never got any legs and was dropped for very good reason.

If the object of this article was to make the US look dumb, they didn´t have to go any further back than the last election!


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Reply 13 - Posted by: pouncer, 11/26/2012 6:07:32 PM     (No. 9034934)

Man´kind´ is on many occasion too smart for their own good.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: BcdErick, 11/26/2012 6:30:33 PM     (No. 9034958)

That would have been terrible. Nothing for cows to jump over? I bet those guys in Monty Python are mad they didn´t think of this.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: snakeoil, 11/26/2012 6:48:47 PM     (No. 9034986)

Reminds me of when a student got a mild electrical shock and reported that she had been electrocuted. Nuclear weapons don´t have nearly the destructive power of the space debris that has hit the moon. It sounds like Joe Biden first brain storm.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: choey, 11/26/2012 7:05:45 PM     (No. 9035002)

Frank J. call your office.
(See IMAO.US if you don´t get it.)

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Reply 17 - Posted by: pickle1, 11/26/2012 8:12:56 PM     (No. 9035089)

Yeah, right.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Japanorama, 11/26/2012 9:26:21 PM     (No. 9035135)

I doubt that anyone at the Daily Mirror ever read a science book.
Blow up the moon, indeed.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Scribelus, 11/26/2012 9:36:37 PM     (No. 9035149)

Shhh! I have it on excellent authority that a trial nuke was meant to be exploded on West London. The aim was to secure bragging rights with the IRA. Carl Sagan called it off when he was informed that he wouldn´t be credited with the precision of targeting.
Nevertheless, his mama was proud of him.
(Will this get me a byline in the Daily Mail?)

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Reply 20 - Posted by: voxlapidis, 11/26/2012 9:56:52 PM     (No. 9035168)

I remember talk about such a project back then. After all they did test a nuke in space over Johnston Island.

Probably the basis for the TV show "Space 1999".



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Reply 21 - Posted by: Fosterdad, 11/27/2012 12:06:07 AM     (No. 9035248)

#16 - you beat me to it.

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