How someone can come up with so many ways to kill is far beyond me. I do hope that we don't have something like this floating around out there right now, ya know?
Project Thor (aka Rods From God)
Project Thor was never put into practice, but if it had been, the results might have been absolutely terrifying. In the 1950s, scientist (and future sci-fi writer) Jerry Pournelle was looking at the idea of kinetic bombardment, which means launching missiles from space with no explosives and simply letting the power of speed and gravity do the work. If you’ve played Call of Duty: Ghosts, the idea might sound familiar. It’s the opening scene, and it was almost very real.
Project Thor (or Rods from God) never made it off the drawing board, thanks in no small part to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which made space-based weapons off-limits. Until then, the military was looking at ways to make satellites into incredibly deadly weapons. We may eventually see such ideas make the jump from science fiction to reality, though, especially with advancing technology and a shift in the position of whether or not space is a staging ground.
The basics of the idea involve two satellites working together. One is armed with 6-meter-long (20 ft) tungsten rods, no more than 0.3 meters (1 ft) in diameter. The second satellite does all of the communication and targeting. After a rod is dropped, it’s estimated that it would be traveling at 11,000 meters per second (36,000 ft/s) when it finally hits the ground.
We don’t know much else about the plan, except that the government’s not saying what the project’s current status is. Attaching the rods to intercontinental ballistic missiles was also suggested, which would be cheaper than using satellites. We might still see Rods from God dropping from US satellites some day.
I'm sure we'll all sleep better knowing that something like one of these rods could come crashing through the roof at any time, right? Why would such a plan ever even be designed, I wonder? Freaky stuff, that's for sure! Thanks to the folks at Listverse for giving me something else to worry about.
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Better bring your hard hat!