Re: SPACE: Lunar Warfare

Mark Grant (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 15:51:32 +0000

On Thu, 16 Jan 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> The time from luna to earth is 1-3 days, depending on trajectory
> taken and excess velocity when crossing the L1 point.

BTW, if your mass-driver is set up for construction in space you'll
probably be sending your rocks to L2, behind the moon (this was, AFAIR,
the original 'High Frontier' plan). So you'll have another problem with
getting them towards Earth.

> Since luna does not NEED to attack earth, the onus will be on earth to
> attack first. This puts earth gov't in a poor PR position, where they
> will have to fabricate some terrorist bombing or something to rouse up
> public sentiment to support their inhumane actions.

If the lunies threaten to attack Earth, then you can guarantee that the
Earth governments will react. Anyway, we all know that a short war is good
for your ratings; Bush proved that in the Gulf and Margaret Thatcher
improved her position substantially after the Falklands War, which
resulted in a much larger loss of men and machinery.

> You were projecting the use of a propulsin system so efficient that it
> could accelerate constantly at above one G from the earth to the moon?

No, he's assuming 11km/s from Earth orbit, AFAIR. That's not terribly
realistic, but possible in a future where you can afford to run a lunar

> And an easily detectable military mobilization in orbit will be seen to
> be as much of a threat by any non allied nations on earth,

Like the UN-sponsored buildup in the Gulf? Yes, the locals didn't like it,
but they put up with it for long enough to retake Kuwait.

> In addition, the logistical
> costs of putting earth resources in orbit (since they won't be able to
> get them from the moon) add additional expense to such an endeavor.

Even today, putting a few nukes and boosters in orbit will only cost you a
billion or two. In a future where you can support a million people on the
moon that will probably be more like millions.

> You don't really understand the magnitude of what you are saying. It
> took $60 billion in equipment losses and expenses operating a trillion
> dollars in equipment with the cooperation of over a dozen nations to
> mount a successful 8 day campaign here ON EARTH to recover 100 square
> miles of desert wasteland.

Note *recover*... we don't care about recovering your colony, we just
disable or destroy it and tidy up afterwards. Also, of course, a few nukes
dropped on Iraq and Kuwait would have ended the war quickly, probably for
less than a billion dollars (unless you lost some stealth bombers in the
process). The US chose to do things the expensive way for PR purposes.

> There is a HUGE differential in the costs that a defender must incur vs
> the attacker to win a confrontation. Here on earth the differential can
> be as much as 1 to 100.

We don't care, because all the attacks on the moon are by machines, and
we can move people out of the cities if you begin to retaliate. You'll
suffer much larger casualties because you can't move.


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