Revealed: How the U.S. Planned to Blow Up the
MOON With a Nuclear Bomb To Win Cold War Bragging Rights Over Soviet Union
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.
project, innocuously titled 'A Study of Lunar Research Flights'
and nicknamed 'Project A119,' was never carried out.
planning included calculations by astronomer Carl Sagan, then a
young graduate student, of the behavior of dust and gas generated
by the blast.
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.
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.
later became renowned for popularizing science on television, died
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