Strategic Weapons: May 23, 2000


During 1958 and early 1959, the US considered a plan to detonate a Hiroshima-sized nuclear bomb on the moon as proof of its military power. Performing this public relations stunt would have required inventing a new missile able to reach the moon, although it need not have been as large as the Saturn missile that carried men there in 1969. The plan was finally shelved, although more because it was thought that it would not have the desired effect than because of practical limitations or concerns over damage to the lunar environment.--Stephen V Cole


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