Nuking the Moon

Nuking the Moon

If we detonated a nuclear weapon on the moon, the lack of an atmosphere on the moon would mean no mushroom cloud or shockwave, but anyone viewing the blast would likely get a fatal dose of ionizing radiation.

The explosion would probably cause moon debris ejected into space that will also strike Earth.

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After the Sputnik space satellite launch in 1957, the U.S. Air force commissioned a study of Lunar research flights, known as Project A119, which considered an explosion on the moon's far side to illuminate Earth's natural satellite.

A nuclear moon test would have been a considerable feat that could have confirmed America's leadership, but the Air Force never acted on the study.

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When Science And Sci-Fi Work Together

Our imagined moon has long inspired fear, excitement, hubris, and political ambition – fact and myth, science and science fiction have always intertwined.

Some of the engineers who advised Fritz Lang on his 1929 film, Frau im Mond went on to develop the first rocket capable of reaching space, Germany’s V-2. When they later moved to Huntsville, they took with them not just their know‑how but also Lang’s anticipation-quickening innovation of counting down the seconds before the rocket’s launch.

Star Wars

The first movie of the blockbuster franchise, retroactively titled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, exploded into the movie theatres in 1977. It became a global cultural phenomenon and gave birth to a pop-culture empire, which included sequels, prequels, books, comics, games, TV series and even radio shows.

The franchise also affected real-world space technology in numerous ways.

The Moon affects the Earth's climate

The most obvious effect can be seen in the ocean tides. The Earth's rotation causes the Moon's gravity to pull the water on the closest side of Earth towards it, creating a bulge. The centrifugal force caused by the Earth's rotation makes the sea bulge on the other side too. These bulges of water are high tides.


Every 18.6 years, there is a lunar nodal cycle, where the lunar plane tilts away from the equatorial plane, causing tides to grow smaller. When the Moon's orbit is more in line with the Earth equator, the tides are bigger.

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