Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Mark Grant (
Wed, 15 Jan 1997 23:04:50 +0000

On Tue, 14 Jan 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> No he showed a massive difference in ground penetration with the
> advantage to rocks.

An advantage to 900,000 ton rocks. You're not going to be launching them
from the moon in the near future.

However, the supposed advantage is rather dubious. As you keep pointing
out, most Earth targets are on the surface, so you really want to put the
energy of the incoming rock into as large an area as possible on the
surface, not waste it digging up the ground.

> I am
> proposing using smaller rocks, preformed as conic atmospheric
> penetrators, so the drag as on a meteor would be much less,

Yeah, if you could make it more aerodynamic then it would presumably do
better than his figures (I'd be interested to know just how effective this
might be, if anyone can do the calculations). But you're increasing your
cost again.

> in higher
> quantities.

But this is the basic problem. You can't launch them in large enough
quantities to make a difference. You'd need several weeks to launch
900,000 tons of rocks.

> Apparently its not, as a rock makes a deeper hole, and since earth
> assets are above ground for all but few sites,

Aren't you contradicting yourself here?

> the atmospheric shock
> waves on earth are the kicker, so the damage radius is greater on earth
> than on the moon.

Yes, but that's not a big concern when the amount of destructive energy
that the Earth forces can put into your colony is hundreds or thousands of
times larger than you can put into the Earth. We can afford to waste a lot
because the targets are smaller and we have much more to begin with.


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