Feo3: understanding

Posted by Feo Amante on Jan 17, 2004 at 05:26

Re: Feo2: understanding (Measurement)

Okay, so you throw a big rock.

I'll accept that the mechanics to launch said rock that will leave the moon's gravity
(surface gravity 1.62 m/s - squared. Argh! I can't make a little "2" on this board!
escape velocity 2.38 km/s); enter the earth's gravity
(surface gravity 9.78 m/s - squared); and these two forces that will act upon the object - with their fluctuations - will be so well calculated that there is no possibility for sloppy error
(except for numbers on paper, we don't have that tech now but I'll grant that we will - I'll also assume that the attack will be launched at the moon's perigee).

I, (for example) as the enemy country, will still see your rock coming days ahead of time, as it will take a a far more appreciable amount of time to reach me
(approx. 227,062.5 miles distance at perigee) the earth than my ability to immediately see what you've done and launch something as archaic (but faster and at least as accurate) as an ICBM.

Even if you rail launched it at me with an earth escape velocity of 25,000 miles an hour
(and there is no need to assume that there won't be better tech than a rail launcher in the future, but still dealing with real world physics/mechanics for the forseable future - which is what a military endeavor - right now - would demand), everyone on earth who could see the moon would see what you've done and it would still take your rock about 9 hours to reach me. More than enough time for me to retailiate first.

And all of this assumes that there are no space defenses from other countries. No space programs in other countries. Which is a poor assumption since even Iran is getting into space on their own (with help from France).
Europe (as the eas)
Canada (with help from the U.S. and eas)
Have a self sustaining space program and working tech now.

Plus the wannabees
(and last in line and more of a pipe dream for them - Pakistan)
Are creating a space program for the near future (India is highly competitive in this endeavor since the success of China).
All mentioned countries would/will be sharing/assisting their allies with their tech.

And an even worse assumption to think that said other countries would watch us building a massive weapons complex on the moon
(How could we possibly hide from sight on the moon? As for any visiting kids who may come in here and read this: no, we can't hide on the "dark side" of the moon.)
and do nothing to counteract just the mere potential of an attack on themselves.

In other words, even negating the cost and expense, the idea is naive. Astoundingly so.

Unless we are talking about a country that is so low tech (like the current state of Afghanistan, Sudan, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia) that it has neither the means or the allies to launch or help it launch a counter attack. In which case that enemy is so primitive that it just isn't worth all the expense of setting up a military complex on the moon, that has the mining capabilities
(because I'm even granting an entirely automated system here - no human maintenance on this project) to create such an endeavor. I don't know how powerful - big - a rock you are talking. But assessing the destructive force of a modern nuclear bomb, even without the radiation, we are talking about one huge, lasting environmental impact that will throw thousands of tons of debris into the upper atmosphere.

Right now? The tech just isn't there. By the time the tech IS there, our biggest potential allies will have caught on to what we are doing and have had ample time to build their own weapons system on the moon.

And if this would only be for fighting primitives, again, what's the freaking point of going to all that trouble and time?

Strategically, it isn't worth the investment. Historically, the U.S. has never had an interest in holding the world hostage to superior weapons power. We sure as hell wouldn't be having all of this trouble now if we did.

And forget about wrapping anything that expensive up in the flag of science, because the second a Democratic leadership is back in office (and the pendulum always swings), science will be out the window and we'll be back in crystal rubbing, harmonic convergence humming, loopy land again. Science in the United States has never been a priority for big money unless the results - whatever was desired - would be relatively immediate.

If Openheimer and the crew told the military back in WW2 that nuclear weaponry would take at least 20 years for us or anybody to work out, the Generals would have looked elsewhere.

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