Re: SPACE: Lunar warfare

The Low Willow (
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 09:08:55 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 2, 11:09am, Michael Lorrey wrote:
} The Low Willow wrote:

} > Apollo took four days to get to the moon (unless that was the length of
} > the entire mission.) Military missiles should be able to take one day
} > or less.
} Why one day or less? No military "missiles" are capable of anything but
} suborbital capability. Using Titan Centaurs would work, but considering

You build bigger missiles with more fuel. Then they go faster. Of
course we don't have such missiles now; we haven't needed them. You're
talking about a lunary colony that can contemplate rebelling against
Earth yet assuming Earth's weaponry will stay the same? Nutty.

} a few hundred miles up is still 238,500 miles away.

But energetically much closer. 11 km/sec closer. Wait, that reminds

Luna is about a light-second away; 3e5 kilometers. Terrestrial escape
velocity is 11 km/sec. 300,000/11 is 27,000 seconds is 7.5 hours. So a
missile that could barely escape Earth's surface could, if launched from
our orbit, reach the Moon in 7.5 hours. What was that about Saturns,
again? I think we do have such missiles. Or did.

} > And quite possibly frigates or bases would be put in *lunar* orbit.
} > Better aim, and faster. If the energy isn't enough, use nukes. Not
} > much to contaminate down there...
} ANything put in lunar orbit would get shot at. A lunar Govt would

What lunar gov't? I thought we were talking about a rebellion. LunaCorp
starts shooting at US ships, LunaCorp is toast.

} > 6 feet isn't much protection in the kind of warfare we're talking about.
} Sure it is. Read your 50's era directions on bomb shelter construction.

1950's hell. What are the depths of nuclear or meteor craters? Can we
design earth-penetrating missiles to direct their blast downward? Etc.

} Any lunar settlers would contain a high percentage of people who are
} disposessed, alienated, exiled, as who would give up living on earth if
} they didn't HAVE to? THink of this: a lunar settling corporation puts

Wow. Read your science fiction. Lots of starry-eyed (groan) idealists
would do so. Well, maybe not lots, but enough to start a colony.
Heinlein's penal colony is not the only way to go. And education and
skills have a high value in space, not brute labor.

} together a deal with earth governments strapped with overpopulated
} welfare rolls to take welfarees off their hands for a set fee. The corp
} ships em to the moon and puts them to work shoveling dirt and growing

} Sure, but you've got a population of highly "humane" leaders who dodge
} drafts, hug trees, and avoid conflict when ever they can as decisive is

Leaders change. All the more so under threat. Russia and China have
different leaders. And your "humane" leaders are the same ones who
permanently exiled lots of welfarees. You're not adding up here.

Missiles in Earth orbit can ensure MAD with Luna -- no one's advantage.
Military at Luna can make MAD highly unlikely -- advantage, Earth. A
small, "brain drain", colony may well be sentimental about Earth and
morally unable to wipe out 6 billion people and an ecosystem. Resentful
rabble won't have much moral weight at home, else they wouldn't have
been shipped there in the first place. True, they could have been
shipped by heartless leaders while rebelling under wimpy leaders; my
point isn't that Luna can't rebel, but that it isn't guaranteed to.

Belters I don't know about. And if anyone manages to live on Mercury
(Power Capital) or Venus ("we all live in a yellow refrigerator... and
you can't find us") ("well, you probably can, but can you hit us?")
they'll be in choice positions.

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

"With that in mind It spread the tale that It transubstantiates into
bread, to be consumed by man, so that man will feel less objection to
the truth that It consumes man, like bread."
-- R.A. MacAvoy _Damiano_, Lucifer, on the Beginning