We Wanted to do WHAT?!

We Wanted to do WHAT?!

By: Michael Kyllo-Kittleson

Have you ever heard something that just made you stop dead in your tracks and go, “huh?” Well, this story did that for me. Wait for it…

The United States had plans to NUKE, yes nuke, the moon.

Back in the late 1950s the U.S. was in the middle of a little something called The Cold War with the Soviet Union. It was an incredibly stressful time with both sides spending a lot of time playing chicken with the other.

So, obviously, what is the best way to flex some military muscle and show what we could do? Shoot a nuke at the moon… Totally.

The reason? The U.S. honestly, as reported, wanted to scare the Soviets.

Todd Seifert of The Spectrum wrote, “I actually can follow the logic on this one — at least to a point. These were the days when it was clear which nations were enemies with others. The Soviet Union had taken the lead in the space race with Sputnik, the first man-made satellite launched into orbit. To say Americans at the time were a bit frightened of the power of the Soviets having control of space would be an understatement.

So just imagine how the momentum would shift if people in Moscow were looking up to the moon when a huge explosion lights up the sky, even just a little bit. Then, imagine the fear at hearing that the Americans caused that explosion to happen.”

I still seems a little overkill, and quite frankly, so stupid to shoot a nuke at the moon just to prove a point.

Luckily, the genius plan was abandoned.

“…in part because of the danger it posed to people on Earth if the mission failed. Scientists also were concerned about contaminating the moon with radioactive material.”

Well thank you, scientists! We appreciate it.

In hindsight, all the reports say the nuke shot would not have blown up the moon completely. The people interviewed said they did not even know if they could create something that would be able to escape the earth’s atmosphere. But still! Let’s say they did and the nuke reached the moon. I only see a few things happening here:

1) The Soviets fell the need to do the same thing and then an all out moon shootin’ nuke fest starts. Bye-bye moon…


2) The Soviets were so afraid and became so panicked that they jump-started the release of their nuclear arsenal. Honestly, I’m really not sure what would have been worse! But either way, it would not have been pretty and all-and-all was just a bad idea.

By the way, if you’re curious, if the moon blew up or left us, here are just a few of things the earth would experience:

1) Our ocean/water tides would be out of control. We’re talking crazy floods and what not – Day After Tomorrow kind of stuff.

2) Earth would freeze. End of story, just POOF hey, snowball planet.

3) The moon balances the earth and helps keep it where it is. Does a wobbly earth sound like a good thing to you? Does us just floating off into space sound like a fun time? It’s all about gravity and gravitational pulls.

4) Reflects light, helps keep the night not so completely pitch black.

Basically, think of the Moon as the peacekeeper of things. It keeps everything calm and harmonized. Without it, all hell breaks loose — or, dare I say it, it’s the end of the world.

CNN released this story first, read it here