Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

The Low Willow (
Sat, 11 Jan 1997 21:57:02 -0800 (PST)

Question one: did we ever clarify whether we were talking about war
between Earth and free Luna or an independence rebellion?

On Jan 11, 8:36pm, Michael Lorrey wrote:
} Mark Grant wrote:

} 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,

Multiple missiles. Habitats aren't going to be too secret; also
consider remote sensing. And big nukes don't need to be pinpoint
accuracy. And accuracy will be no more a problem for terrestrial nukes
than for lunar rocks -- probably less. Guided missiles, no

} as well as aircraft based systems. The Army is currently purchasing a
} dozen or so Boeing transport planes specially built with laser gun

I haven't heard this, but the Economist did have an article on the
feasibility of such systems. But the nukes could be big, shielded
nukes. Or mass drivers could be put into Earth orbit, so that both
sides would be using the same weapons. Luna probably has competitive
advantage there, though. I vote for big nukes. And local ships and

} if the majority of the installation is underground, they would never
} notice.

I winced at claims of great intelligence infiltration, but I'm not
convinced this would be true. Building a large mass drive underground
should be interesting. Also, is the entire Moon one free power?
Perhaps only one colony is rebelling or has rebelled, and there are
other bases loyal to various Earth nations.

} 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

Earth powers that thought they might have to deal with space based
military might move more installations underground, BTW. Don't assume
your enemy can't change.

} 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.

Hmm, fair point.

} 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

I don't see how that can be accurate. 1 G at Earth's surface, 6000
kilometers; at 12000 km g-force will be .25 G. But a rock at rest at
infinity (physics problem) would come down with escape velocity, 11
km/sec=11000m/sec. 1 ton=1000kg. 1000*(11000^2)/2= 6.05e10 J. I don't
know how much energy is in a kg of TNT. 10^7 J? Then the falling 1 ton
rock would be 6 tons of TNT. 10^5 J? 600 tons.

} 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?

You're _assuming_ a dynamic of the people involved on the moon. I
consider various volunteers to be just as likely. You're also assuming
a single Earthgov now, which we're not exactly racing towards now. I
doubt that affects this argument much though.

} > Hmm, I think I'm going to go off and read Heinlein, then write a short story
} No wonder we are having this argument, you haven't even studied the
} preparation material. What would your professors have said? Read it then

Preparation material involving an omniscient computer and a 10% chance
of success, if I remember correctly. There's also some chance that the
masters of future waves of colonialism will have learned from the past,
either to set up peaceful methods for secession (a la the Commonwealth)
or stronger barriers to any military capability. Lets exile a bunch of
convicts to the top of the gravity well without guards! Right.

} If I saw further than others, it is because I had an
} unjoggled view from standing on my own two feet.
} - Mike Lorrey

Ah, the self-made man, a pristine mind untouched by any benefit from
having read Newton or Heinlein, which mass of literature might almost be
considered a free lunch for subsequent generations...

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

Pedestrian, n: The variable (and audible) part of the roadway for an
-- Ambrose Bierce, _The Devil's Dictionary_