Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Hara Ra (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 23:16:03 -0800

Michael Lorrey wrote:
> slower? I don't think so. Any rock will accelerate the same regardless
> of mass, as Galileo proved, and the bigger it is, the more momentum it
> has so its harder to deflect from its course with a given repulsive
> charge.

I've been reading this thread with increasing amusement. The trend in
weaponry is to increase the projectile's velocity for passive
projectiles like bullets and to increase the delivered energy for active
ones such as bombs. The most efficient chemical warheads are the ones
which spray fuel into the air at the target, using air as the oxidizer -
in most explosives about 70% of the mass is in the oxidizer portion.

When the velocity exceeds Earth's escape velocity it becomes more
effective to increase the velocity instead of the mass of the projectile
with the available energy. Using big rocks is lumbering and very slow,
several days to target. However 10kg projectiles at 100km/second only
take 50 minutes; particle beams are even faster, and lasers have the
ultimate velocity. A suitable intense laser beam cuts an ionized path
into the atmosphere and is self focussing. Meanwhile, I will just live
on the lunar farside....

| Hara Ra <> |
| Box 8334 Santa Cruz, CA 95061 |