While the United States’ military makes no comment a number of corroborated reports suggest that the country had a plan to drop an atomic bomb on the moon during the height of the Cold War. Apparently, a Hiroshima-like explosion on our satellite would have been seen as a “show of force” by the Soviets. The shear absurdity of this Dr.Strangelove story makes it all the more real.
[div class=attrib]From the Independent:[end-div]
US Military chiefs, keen to intimidate Russia during the Cold War, plotted to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb, according to project documents kept secret for for nearly 45 years.
The army chiefs allegedly developed a top-secret project called, ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ – or ‘Project A119’, in the hope that their Soviet rivals would be intimidated by a display of America’s Cold War muscle.
According to The Sun newspaper the military bosses developed a classified plan to launch a nuclear weapon 238,000 miles to the moon where it would be detonated upon impact.
The planners reportedly opted for an atom bomb, rather than a hydrogen bomb, because the latter would be too heavy for the missile.
Physicist Leonard Reiffel, who says he was involved in the project, claims the hope was that the flash from the bomb would intimidate the Russians following their successful launching of the Sputnik satellite in October 1957.
The planning of the explosion reportedly included calculations by astronomer Carl Sagan, who was then a young graduate.
Documents reportedly show the plan was abandoned because of fears it would have an adverse effect on Earth should the explosion fail.
[div class=attrib]Read the entire article following the jump.[end-div]
[div class=attrib]Image courtesy of NASA.[end-div]