Why had US planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb in the 1950s?

November 27, 2012 0 By rajesh

The US had planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb in the 1950s. US wanted to blow moon because Russia was at that time on commanding lead in the space race which was going on at that time between United States and Russia. United States had its mind “Without the Bamboo, the flute can never be played (na rahega baans na bajegi bansuri)”

At the height of the space race, the US considered detonating an atom bomb on the Moon as a display of America’s Cold War muscle.

The secret project, named ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ and nicknamed ‘Project A119′, however was never carried out

America’s planning included calculations by astronomer Carl Sagan, then a young graduate student, of the behavior of dust and gas generated by the blast, the Daily Mail reports.

According to the report, viewing the nuclear flash from the Earth might have intimidated the Soviet Union (Russia) and boosted US confidence after the launch of Sputnik, physicist Leonard Reiffel said.

Under the scenario, a missile carrying a small nuclear device was to be launched from an undisclosed location and travel 238,000 miles to the moon, where it would be detonated upon impact.

The planners decided it would have to be an atom bomb because a hydrogen bomb would have been too heavy for the missile, the report said.

Military officials apparently abandoned the idea because of the danger to people on Earth in case the mission failed, the report added.

The scientists also registered concerns about contaminating the moon with radioactive material, Reiffel said.



The space race between the United States and the Soviet Union brought an engaging touch of science fiction to the Cold War. To American astonishment and dismay, the Russians at first took a commanding lead. Their programme was directed by Sergei Korolev, a brilliant aeronautical engineer and expert on rockets, who had displeased Stalin and spent time in the Gulag in the 1930s. He was a commanding figure who did not suffer fools gladly and his staff treated him almost as a god. In the 1950s he developed a massive and at the time almost unthinkably powerful rocket, the R-7, which would propel Soviet spacecraft to the Moon.


Sputnik 1, the first satellite ever launched, created a sensation in 1957 when it hurtled out into space and orbited the Earth every 96 minutes before falling back into the Earth’s atmosphere. Sputnik 2 took the first living creature out into space; a sweet-tempered dog called Laika, though she did not last as long as the Russians pretended. More Sputnik missions tested life-support systems and re-entry procedures. In January 1959 the spacecraft Luna 1 (which Korolev called Mechta, ‘the Dream’) was launched at the Moon, but missed by around 3,700 miles and went into orbit between the Sun and Mars.

Richard Cavendish explained how, on September 12th, 1959, the Soviet Union launched Luna 2, the first spacecraft to successfully reach the Moon.

Here this also should be noted that Worried United States on the nuclear strength of India might be the reason of the assassination of Lal Bahadur Shastri. This is fully explained in Chapter 19 my book: Silent Assassins, Jan 11, 1966.

The book is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/9350878453



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