SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 11 Jan 1997 20:36:15 -0500

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Mark, its actually good that the list broke as i got quite heated, IMHO
in my reply last night. Here it is for your appraisal, and advanced
apologies for any insult taken.

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Date: Sat, 11 Jan 1997 08:51:50 -0500
From: Michael Lorrey <>
Organization: Northstar Technologies (
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Subject: SPACE: Lunar Warfare
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Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 22:59:36 -0500
From: Michael Lorrey <>
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Subject: Re: SPACE: Re: Lunar warfare
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Mark Grant wrote:
> On Thu, 9 Jan 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > Sure but how many are in existence. The US does have the SLAM glide
> > bomb, which is effective for bunkers 200 feet down, but thats a 1000 lb
> > warhead. The capability is there, but not the actual devices for deep
> > nuke penetration.
> Why does that matter? You were talking about only six feet of cover, and a
> 10 MT nuke will create a crater around fifteen hundred meters across and a
> hundred meters deep, causing severe damage down to around two hundred meters.
> That's in atmosphere, of course, so the effects on the moon may not be as
> bad. I don't have any figures handy for smaller explosions.
> Either way, we don't need to bother with penetrators if your colony is only
> buried under six feet of lunar soil. Or, possibly, even six hundred feet.

you are assuming that:

1) the colony would all be in one tight little place
2) all habitats would be mapped out with correct public coordinates
3) that the warheads would be accurate (a big if at the velocities,
course,and distance you are talking about if you know anything about
such things)

> > In any event, the current BMDO technologies on the
> > drawing boards now and being tested now are fully sufficient to counter
> > incoming ballistic weapons on the Moon.
> I seem to remember Reagan saying something similar about Earth a few years
> ago. Note that the majority of the 'Star Wars' effort went towards destroying
> the missiles in the boost phase and not near impact as you would have to. A
> missile launch is easy to track. A stealthy warhead approaching at 6km/s or
> more is much, much harder, particularly if the first things we destroy are
> your radar stations. Last I heard the US Army (Air Force?) had admitted that
> their Patriot missiles failed to hit a single Scud warhead at a small
> fraction of that velocity.

Note: SDI failed not because of technical problems, but because of
politics and money. Even Hans Bethe, one of the big guys in Scientists
for Social Responsibility or some such organization, who was and is a
major opponent of SDI like programs, has been publicly quoted as saying,
"The debate is not longer scientific." (He's a physicist)

With boost phase, you do have an economic advantage in that with an
opponent that has MIRVed missiles, you can take out multiple warheads
with one hit, making each shot more cost effective. The space based
weapon technical capability was there to do so, but not the
computational ability to coordinate such an architecture that depends on
maximizing the cost effectiveness of each shot (as you've only got so
many railgun shells, laser fuel, and power capacity)(estimates of in the
order of at least 20 million lines of bug proof code to run the system).

Ground based high energy systems have been shown to be very effective,
as well as aircraft based systems. The Army is currently purchasing a
dozen or so Boeing transport planes specially built with laser gun
systems on them. Current beam weapons of that size can hit Sidewinder
sized missiles (less than 9 feet long and 8 inches in dia.) from over 60
miles away through the atmosphere (laterally). Such weapons based on the
moon with no atmospheric problems would be able to hit any target with a
lunar trajectory within 10,000 miles of leaving earth.

Thus the strategy has shifted to reentry phase interception, where you
can defend strategic targets very successfully. There are numerous
systems that have been demonstrated viability, including even a phalanx
derived gun system that can shoot somthing like 40,000 rounds per minute
up to a 15 mile altitude. This is controlled by a computer/radar/IR
control system that has been demonstrated to be VERY effective.
unfortunately you don't want to be downrange of the gun when the missed
shots return to earth.

The reports in the media that Patriot was wholly unsuccessful were
untrue. What was true was that while hits were scored, a falling dead
missile is still capable of hurting people and damaging property when it
impacts. The important lesson is not to locate strategic targets close
to population centers to avoid collateral damage. Your Patriot type
missiles will deflect the incoming missile from hitting its target, but
> BTW, I presume that the Earthers just sat by and watched while you were
> building all these high-powered point-defence lasers which couldn't be used
> for anything other than defence against an Earth attack?

if the majority of the installation is underground, they would never

> > His assertions of insurgencies orchestrated by the CIA/NSA etc. are also
> > vacuous, as intelligence is a two edged sword.
> You keep saying that, but it seems to be more of an assertion than an
> argument. I note that you chose to ignore my calculations which showed that
> your threat to Earth was seriously overrated anyway?

What in numbers of people? useless. in numbers of rocks launched by
railgun? You would not need to decimate the entire surface, that
assertion is just ludicrous. The goal of battle is to destroy the
enemy's ability to wage and support war. Sun Tsu said that a great
General always wins his battles without shooting a single arrow. Do you
have ANY military experience? Using estimates that the US and Russia
have the combined ability to decimate the world ten times over, and that
they have a combined inventory of 40,000 warheads with an average
explosive capacity of 275 kilotons, that means that 4000 warheads would
do, for a combined total of 1,100,000 kilotons of TNT of explosive
force. Given our 10 kiloton clean ferrous warhead (weighing one ton), we
could decimate the world with 110,000 one ton ferrous rocks. Also, as
the military industrial complex of the world covers a much smaller
percentage of it surface, I'll bet that a lunar colony could decimate
the US Chinese and Russian military capability with less than 6000 rocks
(count the installations), and that is taking into account interception
systems, giving 105 rocks to each target based on importance. Places
like NORAD control in Colorado would get some extras just for fun.

Also, consider this: Luna could put any number of rocks up in orbit way
ahead of time, as part of its minimg operation to supply the
construction of solar sats and colonies. Keeping a decent backlog of
rocks in orbit with little thruster packs would work as an excellent
deterrent system that could not be sabotaged.

Your assertion that a 1 ton rock falling from lunar space to earth would
only impact with 10 tons of force is also completely laughable. You've
obviously never taken a physics course. Force equals mass times
acceleration ( for which (end velocity^2)/2 can be substituted). Using
gravity, a 1 ton rock accelerates at an average of .5 G for over 150,000
miles (assuming a negligible velocity near the L1 point where Earth and
lunar gravity forces are equal). Falling falling falling.

> > Placing the gun far enough away to
> > make a suited traverse difficult, thus requiring access to traced
> > vehicles is sufficient.
> Someone has to maintain it and run it. Putting it a long distance away
> from the habitation merely makes that job harder.

no. safer for the inhabitants (as they will be less likely to be hit by
collateral damage). Putting staff on alert status on site, like firemen,
is easy. I pulled alert duty in the Air Force many times, working on
interceptors. Notice I said "requiring access to traced vehicles". This
is a good practice for maintaining a restricted area. Look at Area 51
for a good example.

> > His
> > assertions of developing HumInt assets within the colony are also
> > specious, seeing the past 40 years intelligence communities inability to
> > develop HumInt here on earth to any degree of reliability.
> Like the Soviet inability to steal every important secret from the Manhattan
> Project? Or is that why you chose forty years rather than fifty?

They didn't get every secret, but considering the people who developed
it were hired for their hatred of Hitler, while any feelings for or
against Stalin were ignored, it is not surprising. At the time, Stalin
was considered a hero by many Manhattan Scientists. You are also not
understanding the dynamic of the people involved on the moon. ANyone
forced off earth will feel toward earthgov as Cuban Expatriates in Miami
feel toward Fidel Castro. How many of them would spy for old Fidel?

> Note that one of the big problems that the intelligence agencies face is that
> they're trying to quietly infiltrate a different culture. Americans can't
> easily pass for Russians or Iraquis. But Americans can easily pass for American
> workers on your colony.

True, but fortunately, every credit agency in the world is an
intelligence agency for hire. you can learn A LOT from a persons credit
record. ALso, the kind of Americans likely to migrate to the moon are
not likely to resemble candidates for CIA training. (not many Yale
yuppies digging moon dirt)

> Hmm, I think I'm going to go off and read Heinlein, then write a short story
> refuting him.

No wonder we are having this argument, you haven't even studied the
preparation material. What would your professors have said? Read it then
come back.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Website: Now Featuring: My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ Transhumanist, Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Arms Exporter-see below. ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}