Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Plan To Shoot The Moon...!

Of all the crazy things our government has come up with, this might just be the craziest!

This obviously was a case of wanting to show just how smart and bad our weapons were. In my opinion, the whole plan was just stupid! To me it's a wonder we haven't blown ourselves up...YET!

America’s Plot To Nuke The Moon

At the height of the Cold War, the United States Air Force considered a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the surface of the moon. The project was deemed too risky and kept top secret for over 40 years, eventually coming to light in 2000, when former NASA executive Leonard Reiffel provided details of the plot.

The Space Race was an important part of the Cold War, the two superpowers of the USSR and the USA competing to become the first to discover the mysteries of the universe. In 1957, the Soviets took a commanding lead when they put the Sputnik satellite in orbit around the Earth. Not to be outdone, the Americans developed Project A119, “A Study of Lunar Research Flights,” a gambit to explode a nuclear weapon on the surface of the Moon.

The US Air Force commissioned NASA to crunch the numbers, a research project helmed by executive Leonard Reiffel. Young astronomer Carl Sagan was also on the project. Indeed it was Sagan’s rather loose method of keeping national secrets that led to the public recognition of the project. While researching a biography on Sagan, a writer named Keay Davidson reviewed Sagan’s scholarship application for the University of California Berkley’s Miller Institute. Bizarrely enough, the late Sagan provided highly classified details about his involvement of the project. When the 1999 book Carl Sagan: A Life was published detailing the plan, Reiffel emerged to set the story straight, claiming that “the foremost intent was to impress the world with the prowess of the United States,” and “It was a PR device, without question, in the minds of the people from the Air Force.”

The bomb used would have been small, around the same size as the one used on Hiroshima. The explosion would have been visible from the surface of Earth and would have made a serious statement about the capability of the US. However, the risks involved in the launch, as well as the possibility of creating nuclear fallout on the Moon and halting the chances of manned lunar exploration, caused NASA and the Air Force to scrap their plans. Due to the Freedom of Information Act, the plans were eventually made public, though the Air Force denies any involvement with the ill-fated Project A119, even to this day.

Funny, but I never figured that Carl Sagen would get mixed up in something like this! Guess I had him figured all wrong!

Back in the kitchen this morning. How about some blueberry muffins this A.M.?


Chickenmom said...

Too bad he died so early - would love to learn more from him about this. Blueberry muffins are perfect for today, Mr. hermit!

Sixbears said...

Carl, the early years.

Ever get the feeling that the government is full of mad scientists?

Momlady said...

Talk about idiocy! What were they thinking?!

linda m said...

Carl was a brilliant man but I never figured he would be involved in something stupid like that. Blueberry muffins sound great this morning. Very foggy here now. we are expecting some severe storms to blow thru here in the next couple of days.

Rob said...

This was the late 50's? Pop a nuke on the moon to show the world we could do it.... We were still doing above ground testing on the earth in those days.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Like Sixbears said only leave the word scientists off.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I used to enjoy watching him on the Discovery channel. YouTube still has many of his shows.

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Sixbears...
I do get that feeling, for sure!

Thanks for coming over!

Hey Momlady...
I don't reckon the PTB are ever thinking, then or now! That's why we are in the shape that we are today!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Linda...
Guess that he was a totally different person back then. Who knows?

Many thanks for dropping by this morning!

Hey Rob...
Guess they were just planning ahead, so to speak!

Thank you for coming by today!

Hey Dizzy...
Maybe that would be a very good idea! Wonder what they are planning now?

Thanks for the visit today!