Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 23:22:25 -0500

Mark Grant wrote:
> On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > I was admitting my own mistake. See, even the hugely arrogant Mike can
> > admit it when he is wrong. I was also posting the correct answer, which
> > was not what Mark had posted.
> Duh, in physics there's a widely-used concept of "order of magnitude"
> calculations were you simply try to get within a factor of ten of the real
> value. A factor of three is pretty good when you're only aiming for a
> factor of ten. Whether it's fifteen or six tons is immaterial, because
> it's certainly *not* ten thousand tons.
> > Not at all. I was referring to atmospheric impacts. According to James,
> > earthgov will still need to build and use meganukes to have as much of
> > an impact under vacuum conditions as a much smaller nuke would on earth,
> But as I pointed out, by James calculations a 10MT groundburst nuke on the
> moon will have the roughly same effect on underground structures as on the
> Earth.

No he showed a massive difference in ground penetration with the
advantage to rocks. He also compared what would be needed for
equivalence in damage on earth for a 10MT nuke and a rock. I am
proposing using smaller rocks, preformed as conic atmospheric
penetrators, so the drag as on a meteor would be much less, in higher

Also, the lunar terrain is much less conducive to shocks than earth
terrain. What you are referring to is the whole structure of the moon
being cool to the core, so it conducts sound throughout the moon, but
not in the local scale as easily as earth does, as earth has a much
higher moisture content (0% vs 40%) that greatly amplifies the effects
of underground shock (any of you in SF know this from the damage in the
Marina area during the quake as opposed to say, the top of Russian
> > As you all have read my statements before, that war strategically is a
> > competition of cost effectiveness in battle. These two differences, in
> > gravitational potential and environment, between earth and the moon are
> > significant in giving any lunar David a much more even hand against the
> > terran Goliath.
> The moon has a factor of four energy advantage, Earth has nukes; That's
> it.

Apparently its not, as a rock makes a deeper hole, and since earth
assets are above ground for all but few sites, the atmospheric shock
waves on earth are the kicker, so the damage radius is greater on earth
than on the moon. Lunar subterranean structures, even the regolith, have
not been subject to exposure to water for millenia, and so are much less
conducive toward ground shocks than earth terrain.


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

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