The Sun Says U.S. Planned to Blow Up The Moon

by Erik Voeten on November 28, 2012 · 3 comments

in Frivolity,International Relations,International Security

See here. Apparently this would signal resolve to the Soviet Union. If so (and somehow I doubt it), it reminds me of the signalling strategy in this old Kids in The Hall clip that Chad Rector reminded me of yesterday. “Look, give him his pants or this will happen to you.”

{ 3 comments }

Kuze November 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

This was always one of my favourite Mr.Show skits:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csj7vMKy4EI

“Look out Moon America’s gonna git cha!”

Weiwen November 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Uh … the article vastly overstates the case. The project aimed to detonate a large nuclear weapon on the surface of the moon. It would have blown a crater on the surface, but the moon is very, very big. We can’t even blow up an asteroid!

To actually blow a planet up, you would need to input something close enough to the gravitational binding energy of the planet. For the moon, that energy is on the order of 10^29 joules. The entire planet only consumed something like 5 * 10^20 joules of energy in 2010, and the 50 megaton Tsar Bomba released about 5 * 10^17 joules of energy. You would need something like one quadrillion 50 megaton nuclear warheads to actually blow the moon up.

http://typnet.net/Essays/EarthBind.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(energy)

I actually work in health policy, although I entered college wanting to do aeronautical engineering.

The Tragically Flip November 29, 2012 at 12:06 am

I thought of Mr Show too, but based on the second comment a The Tick clip of Chairface Chippandale carving his name into the moon with a giant laser would seem more appropriate. He only got the “cha” drawn before the heroes stop him and the moon shows “cha” until America manages to clean up the “c” (before they were stopped) leaving “ha” in the moon for the remainder of the series.

The best part is that this is never explained again. The moon just says “ha” on it whenever it is in sight.

I say all this to note that the era of MAD really was, as one of the most deliberately idiotic cartoons only barely eclipses its stupidity.

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