Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Mark Grant (
Sun, 19 Jan 1997 21:54:52 +0000

On Sun, 19 Jan 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Not at all. You really aren't thinking this through. using 10% more
> energy puts the object through the L1 point and into earth's gavity
> well.

No it doesn't, because L2 is behind the moon and L1 is in front. Now,
launching towards L2 with a higher velocity might let the rock loop around
back towards Earth, but there's no guarantee that it would actually hit
the planet. There probably are trajectories that would work, but you'd
have to be quite precise and your accuracy would be poor.

> Also, considering the value of the L1 point, it would be silly to
> not build the capability to send materials there.

I'm not sure what the value would be. Once you reach L1 you're basically
at the Earth or moon, so I'm not sure that there's any benefit of having a
station there at all. The only thing I could think of would be refuelling
prior to lunar landing, but your station-keeping requirements at L1 would
probably be so large that it would cost you far more than loading up with
enough fuel prior to launch.

> Also, say the lunar
> govt as a prerevolutionary corporate cabal decides to build a launcher
> on the FAR side, ostensibly to be able to send materials to L1 for a
> station being built there.

Then you'd probably be taken to court immediately for reckless
endangerment. Anything stationary at L1 which loses station-keeping
control will probably drop onto either then Earth or Moon. No-one will be
happy about you putting a station in such a "fail-extremely-dangerous"

Perhaps you could do this if you had a legitimate reason to use it to
export materials to Earth, but that seems unlikely and I'm still not sure
that people would be very happy about you doing so.

> The far side launcher is immune to direct
> attack by earth, except by slow trajecotries that are detectable (less
> than 100 miles above the surface) on the near side,

Well, that depends... the main disadvantage would be that I'd probably need
a rocket to turn the warhead around and fire it into the lunar surface.
Bad, but not insurmountable. I'm not sure whether there is a direct
trajectory from the Earth to the far side (I suspect there isn't), but if
I'm going to have to use a rocket anyway I'd probably want to choose a
course which leaves me travelling slowly a long way above the moon and
come in from that side. Slower, yes, but I would have thought that that
would take me further from the surface and make it harder to detect.

Note that we've already demonstrated that you can't realistically attack
the Earth with a mass-driver unless you have a massive energy-production
facility, which is why you went over to near-earth asteroids instead.

> So what is your point? Like I said, in order for earthgov to publicly
> justify and get good PR for support of an attack on luna, the lunies
> would HAVE to attack first, so as long as they don't the earthgov would
> look tyrranical to do so or must fabricate evidence (Gulf of Tonkin
> Incident).

Really? If the lunies come out on TV ranting about attacking Earth if they
try to stop their independence then the population will sit back and
applaud? I suspect that the closest historical event would be the Cuban
missile crisis, and although the US didn't attack Cuba they probably would
have done if the Soviets didn't give in.

Note that you've already said that if the US launched its space fleet to
the moon as a blockade you'd shoot them down, so that I'd have to launch
an attack directly from Earth. If you won't do so, then my fleet will be
orbiting a couple of hundred km up and just itching to blow you up.
Noone's going to complain about me enforcing UN-imposed sanctions against
dangerous revolutionaries like yourselves, and if you attack we'll be
forced to retaliate in self-defence.

> Now here's an additional argument why earthgov would WANT luna to be
> independent: Forcible exile of prisoners or welfarees would constitute a
> violation of human rights under the UN charter,

Is this a penal colony or a corporate colony?

> There you had a sovreign state invaded from the outside. On Luna you
> have the people exercising their UN recognised right of self
> determination. Can't hardly bitch about that, can you?

ROTFL... have you ever investigated the history of groups who claim their
"recognised right of self determination"? History is full of fanatics who
think that all they have to do is go to the UN requesting independence and
they'll fall over themselves to give it to them. I mean many countries
still haven't even accepted Taiwan as a sovereign state!!!!!

> Oh you are so casual about it. The corporate way of doing it for a
> profit are MARKEDLY different from the government way or the military
> way. NASA takes 100,000 people to launch one rocket, while independent
> launch companies use less than 100 to do the same job.

Again, is this a penal colony or a corporate colony? If it's a penal colony
then the government already have the launch vehicles to ship a million people
to the moon, and a warhead is no big deal. If not, then they'll have bought
them from corporations.

> Also, the company that develops cost effective propulsion for such a
> colony is NOT going to share it with NASA or any ohter competitor, so
> the cost factors are completely different.

Aha... so you have a monopoly on the technology, no competitors and refuse
to sell it to anyone else? I might just as well claim that the USAF will
lift off to bomb you from their captured alien saucers; it would be just
as realistic.

> And how do you think things will change in a luna scenario? rather
> hypocritical. I think that your claims are rather specious given
> people's aversion to using nukes. You really have NO IDEA of the ruckus
> such a strategy will raise on earth.

Even when you're threatening to drop rocks on Earth cities? How many
casualties are people really willing to accept in order to not use nukes?

> Additionally, people on earth and
> in the US will have relatives on Luna and wont be happy at all with
> abandonment of their families. You really are rather blinkered.

And people on Luna won't have relatives on Earth? So the lunies will be
happy to destroy the Earth's cities where their relatives live, but the
Earthers won't be willing to do the same?

> Now you are being insane. You don't know shit about war. The machines
> COST MONEY. People pay taxes to build those machines, and don't like
> them being wasted.

Sorry, you went from talking about 'cost' in terms of people killed to
cost in monetary terms. I was still talking about the former.

But people pay taxes to the government to protect them from lunies
dropping rocks on their heads at thousands of meters per second. How many
people really care if a cruise missile crashes as compared to a soldier
being shot? Which costs more? People care much more about the lives of
their soldiers than the cost of weapons.

> You dont care because you don't know anything and are
> just too stubborn to admit you are wrong.

Does the word "projection" mean anything to you? I want to see if there's
a realistic scenario for a war between Earth and Moon. Yours seems to rely
on a) having a million people on the moon and b) the Earth governments having
essentially no prescence in space at all. This is incredibly unrealistic
*unless* there had been a general and dramatic reduction in the power of
Earth governments. I certainly hope that happens, but don't see it in the
next couple of decades. That would also seem to eliminate the neccessity.


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