Re: SPACE: Lunar warfare

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 21:14:46 -0500

The Low Willow wrote:
> On Jan 2, 12:52pm, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> } Missiles in earth orbit also violate a number of current treaties with a
> } number of countries. You'd have a major problem uniting everyone enough
> } to ignore the mistrust symbolized by those treaties.
> Fair point. But again, conditions can change. They might be secretly
> stored on stations, as well.

True, but espionage is a two edged dagger and money tells all.

> } A
> } > small, "brain drain", colony may well be sentimental about Earth and
> } > morally unable to wipe out 6 billion people and an ecosystem.
> }
> } You are still under the assumption that an ecosystem would be wiped out.
> } As meteor strikes on industrial, military, and possibly population
> } centers would not have ANY radiation (you are still making the same
> I wasn't assuming any radiation. I was just thinking of big explosions
> and dust thrown up. But you're right; unless they used lots of really
> big rocks there wouldn't be total wipeout. They could still worry about
> eco-disruption; if they aren't using really big arms, they're that much
> less of a threat.

A Hiroshima weapon was only used twice and look at the shock it induced.
The only environmental damages from those were from radiation. Dust
fallout nature treats as fertilizer. Look at the Mt St. Helens fallout
pattern: Washington and Oregon farmers now have bumper crops of the best
apples, cherrys and wines in the country (sorry CA). A one ton ferrous
rock = 10 ktons of TNT = one Hiroshima weapon w/out radiation = farmers

One hundred such rocks impacting would wreck the terran economy,
military and space capability, but probably have a maximum kill of no
more than 1 million people, much less especially if a lunar GOvt is
humane and advises ahead of time all target locations so people can
evacuate impact zones. Such an act would go farther propaganda wise to
alienate people from supporting a repressive terran government policy.

it would also make for great sunsets, and bonus fruits and veggies!!!

> } in the solar system in the future. This used the same game theory used
> } to prove the unwinnable nature of nuclear war on earth. The analysis
> } said that in any Earth/Moon power contest, the moon will win in the end.
> I'd want to see the actual analysis.

Check the citations in the book COSMOS. I'm sure you can find a copy at
any used book store if you don't have one. "BEELEEONS and BEELEEONS...."
of copies are out there.

> } > 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
> } Mercury will be like the Middle East: In a strategically poor position,
> } but if they become the dominant energy source for the solar system, via
> Poor because of heat and radiation; rich in energy and possibly metals.
> Although I saw a hypothesis in Science that the surface might be
> conductive. Not sure what that would do.

Another energy source: A planetary thermocouple.

> } Mars would within 100-200 years become more powerfull than Earth and the
> } Moon, as it is higher still, terraformable( i.e. high population
> Lower in energy; useful or quick terraforming is hardly guaranteed, Kim
> Robinson notwithstanding. Earth has a fair chance of remaining the
> intellectual capital.
> Robin claims we're debating a vague question, since there's no
> specification of lunar colony size or exact political conditions. I
> thought we were swimming through multiple possibilities at once, but
> perhaps not very well.

Early independence of the moon would be uncontestable by earth powers,
so long as you have one rogue nation with a 10,000 foot runway and
plenty of international airspace all around. I personally like the way
the Seychelles Government is shaping up as a haven of diplomatic
immunity, and its on the equator too!! Plenty of money flowing in to
fund development, and a great R&R spot. If He3 becomes a big commodity,
they would love to be Luna's Earthside banking center.

As I see it, while conditions may change, no terran government is fast
enough to mobilize and develop fast enough to outwit or outmaneuver a
LunaCorp seeking independence. There is too much inertia toward an
entropic end to large terran governments.

> } Jupiter and Saturn: if you stellate them via Von Neumann machine
> I thought the last argument on this decided that the Jovians could not
> be stars.

By thermoneuclear explosions, yes it would be impossible, but the Clarke
scenario (al la 2010) of using Von Neumann machines with fusion
synthesis capability to raise the actual density of Jupiter to the point
that it implodes to begin stellation for a short period (10,000-1
million years) is theoretically possible.
> } Venus is impossible.
> I'm arguing with someone who claims he can convert angular and linear
> momentum and who has just proposed stellating the large Jovians, on a
> list with regular discussions of Tipler cylinders, infinite Omega Points
> and a Singularity in 38 years, or 28 years, or maybe before the
> millenium. And I've just been told that colonizing Venus is impossible.
> Catch this, Anders? Extro-conservative high point...

Ha. The thing about Venus is that it has gone on baking for so long that
revesing the process would be a HUGE undertaking, and go completely
outside the bounds of normal planetary evolution. Mars is not so
difficult, and would only take about 20-30 years to achieve a .5-1.0 bar
CO2-CFC atmosphere, and 100 to make a .75-.90 bar oxy-CO2-CFC atmosphere
with a 1000 km^2 ocean, and a 50 deg F eQuatorial average atmospheric
> Why? High atmospheric pressure yes, but I hadn't heard it defied known
> forces, or even materials -- Russian probes lasted there, just not for
> very long. It's very hot, but that's what air conditioning was made
> for. Admittedly the problem is more interesting, in that you might have
> to cool the very surface of the material, or else (more likely?) have
> some way to continually renew it, but at the moment these seem like
> highly interesting engineering problems. (I'm also not sure about
> dumping the heat from the fusion or black hole reactor; can air
> conditioning go that far? If not, perhaps deep drill for geothermal.)
> And I presume much would be underground as usual, or under whatever the
> surface is like.

Its hard to cool when there is nothing cool. Building habitable
environments on Venus surface is in the order of building walkin
refrigerators capable of 1 deg K, with a huge bar pressure differential.
While I shouldn't have said "impossible", economically impossible would
be more appropriate. What would be a big help would be to use HUGE
Lorrey Drives to move Mars into orbit around Venus (he he). The tides
would rip so much atmosphere off Venus that it may be possible. By
inducing tidal drag on venus, we can despin the crust relative to the
core a bit, so Venus will generate a magnetic field and EM radiation
belts, thus reducing the amount of solar flux hitting the planet. Hell,
then use HUGE Lorrey Drives to move Venus out to the Terra/Sol L3
Lagrange point, opposite from Earth. COOOOOOLLLLLLLL.

I like the idea better now, thanks.....

> Difficult as hell, yes, quite literally. Impossible?
> Merry part,
> -xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>
> Life: an arms race to entropy.

All I need is my right one, my left one, and my right to bear them.....


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