Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

James Rogers (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 18:58:22 -0800

At 08:35 PM 1/15/97 -0500, Michael Lorrey wrote:
>Also, what did you do to account for energy in the blast
>reflected back to space? I would be interested in learning your
>equations/calculations/methodology for coming to these conclusion....
>Even though I still love em. i'm just curious....

I have a number of sources for my data, by the vast majority of my equations
and calculational information came from the book "Design of Structures to
Resist Nuclear Weapons Effects" from the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 42 (ISBN:0-87262-439-0).
It is essentually 300+ pages of everything you ever wanted to know about
structural engineering in nuclear environments. It forced me to dust off my
engineering skills, since I don't use them professionally. There is a
hundreds of empirical and heuristical equations and data covering every
possible aspect of this subject. I got some of my data from books, and some
from the 'net. I also was able to glean some technical information from
DoE. The meteor impact information was retrieved from various sites from
the net, mostly NASA and .edu sites.

Calculations for the lunar environment are actually much simpler because
there are far fewer factors involved. The difficulty was that all the
equations assume an earthbound environment. Removing the extraneous factors
was subject to quite a bit of error. This is why I finally used underground
nuclear testing as a baseline for my calculations. After you get a decent
set of baseline data, all that is left is a lot of number crunching, and
nothing terribly difficult.

If you want to know all the equations involved, I recommend the above
mentioned book. It is very thorough, technically complete, and designed as
an engineering handbook.

>General Grant, I will respectfully accept your surrender when you have
>finally come to your senses..... he he....

I've remained mostly non-partisan in this discussion (because I don't really
care; it is just an interesting bit of calculation), but my personal opinion
is that UNLESS the moon was extremely well developed and populated, it would
not be able to adequately defend itself against a determined assault from
earth. In the case of a minimally developed moon, it would be too easy to
permanently damage an already precarious economy and environment. The lunar
environment would be more or less permanently dependant on earth for things
such as organic materials.

If the moon was fully developed however (like a small planet), then I see no
reason why it could not be adequately defended. It is mostly a matter of
distributing your economy and not having all your eggs in one basket.


You wouldn't necessarily have to put really large rocks into orbit. Some
are already orbiting the earth. According to astronomers, there are
something like 13 non-trivial natural bodies orbiting earth. Discounting
the moon (which is one of them) I believe the sizes range from about
50-2000 meters in diameter. Simply the threat of dropping a big one (say,
1000 meters) into an ocean should be sufficient deterrent from attack. An
ocean drop doesn't have to be accurate, and would destroy *a lot* of coastal
cities and lands.

-James Rogers