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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > NASA to bomb the moon-why?      Home login  
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 fortran
Joined: 2/21/2004
Msg: 4
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
It depends on how you define "bomb". What has been happening, is that satellites or fractions of satellites are being allowed (or directed) to impact the Moon. Or other bodies (an impactor was designed to run into another body).

These collisions are all about kinetic energy, there is no explosive on board. That is why I question the definition of bomb.

If an inbound projectile impacts with sufficient kinetic energy, some "parent" material is kicked up. The energy of the collision often means that a significant fraction of the kicked up parent material is at high temperature, and as it cools it may give rise to radiation (colours of light usually) which we can detect. In essence, we are doing chemistry on the remote body. In a sense, this is similar to a technology called PIXE (Proton Induced X-ray Emission).

As far as we know, all small bodies in the solar system lack low atomic number elements (Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, ...). If a fluke of geography of the Moon has allowed it to accumulate some low atomic number elements near the south lunar pole, that is useful.

(I am ignoring the fact that some meteorites and asteroids contain low atomic number materials. The problem is that they are never around when you need them.)
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 6
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 4:49:21 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/science/space/5566137/Nasa-prepares-to-bomb-the-moon.html


Edit: ^^ Okay, so you're wondering at the how and why... I can respect that. But this was a Really Cheap mission. They're using an expended upper stage of the launch rocket as the impactor, and piggy-backing two missions on the same launch vehicle. If you want to talk about "all that money," you should probably be asking about bigger line items than NASA's budget.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 8
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 5:10:51 PM
Aww... I still find it amazing that you didn't apply any of the information that was provided even in that very brief online news piece before looking for an intellectual handout, while regurgitating a tired, completely discredited, conspiracy theory around the subject.

I mean, who would bother to keep themselves "up-to-date" on conspiracy theories without at least looking into the actual science just a little bit? Oh yeah... never mind.

Edit:

Why the sudden need to bomb the moon, especially in this economy? Richard Haughland thinks there are space stations on the moon. I wonder if there may be a connection. I believe he wrote a book called 'Dark Mission' he says there are all sorts of extra terrestrial beings using the moon for mining, etc...Sounds weird, maybe someone knows more.


When someone who works in "science," and does environmental work spends a lot more time keeping up on the conspiracy theories of Hoagland than even reading the information they themselves provided as a backgrounder... that's just silly.


BTW some of you folks on the forums get pretty fiesty, and down right mean, I'm just asking a question; I don't need rude people responding....Go Billy Mays' Sham Wow conspiracy thread.
....
well, sorry. I learned a whole lot more from the other posters. Manners and decency are appreciated. I feel bad you have to use a forum like this not as an exchange of ideas and creative discussion, but rather as a format to rant. I hope you find someone who will love you; until then, thank you for your opinion. Now kindly go to the Sham-Wow site, I hear they're 3 for $9.99 if you order now!


Okay, so you came into a Science forum and posted an anti-science paranoid conspiracy theory, didn't read a damn thing about the topic at hand, and wonder why anyone would be anything but staggeringly polite...

That's like the kid with glasses running onto the football field, slapping the quarterback and screaming, "don't hit me, I've got glasses!"

Please, don't burden yourself with worry about my love life. I surely wouldn't want to be saddled with someone who was intellectually lazy IN A FIELD RELATED TO THEIR OWN FIELD, and not emotionally strong enough to take a little light criticism for it.
 fortran
Joined: 2/21/2004
Msg: 10
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 5:33:49 PM
Most of what know about the Moon (or other bodies) is passive. The body is in some kind of an environment, and we watch to find out something about it.

Our ability to make accurate determinations depends on how much we know about the environment and all the interactions which end up in the response we observe.

In an active experiment, we are imposing a stimulus at our time of choosing. We analyze everything we see within a reasonable time-frame of that event, and hope to recover good information.

Doing an abrupt experiment (such as crashing something into the Moon) is of a short time frame, we only see information for a very short period of time. In a passive experiment, the data can almost be forever. They are complementary. What is nice about the "impact" experiments, is that they may provide us with information which makes the passive experiment easier to understand.

In order to get dating information, you need to excite nuclear levels (energy levels in the nucleus). It is not likely that the impact will be exciting nuclear energy levels.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 11
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 6:19:45 PM

Why would their (obviously) far more technologically advanced selves travel across the vast distances of space only to extract resources from a baron rock?... Surely obtaining the Earth and it's resources would be of much higher benefit to them?...


Why even bother making the trip? They're more than likely to find the resources they need a lot closer to home.

Very poor choice in words by the headline and story writers in the Telegraph story.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 12
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 6:22:21 PM
the "bomb" would be more along the lines of a "gas spectrometer"....knowing the colours that burn can lead to knowledge of what IS being burned....which is how they can tell the make-up of various compounds or stars or whatever. Can't quite remember the name of the scince experiment involved in that...gas chronometry or some such thing.
Bases on the moon? not yet......but they will be opurs...not some some aliens.
Try to remember....every dollar SPENT on the space program STAYS on earth. Meaning BIG BUDGET projects creating good jobs and spin-off jobs and businesses which would turn the economy around. We need a WAY bigger budget for space. Let's DO it!
 Mister Logic
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 13
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 6:56:33 PM
Why the sudden need to bomb the moon, especially in this economy? Richard Haughland thinks there are space stations on the moon. I wonder if there may be a connection.

Oh No! Don't tell me that Richard Hoagland crawled back out from under his pile of rocks and is trying to start up another one of his "extraterrestrial frenzies" again! (You may remember him ... He's the guy who pushed his crackpot "theory" about the "face on Mars" a number of years ago. It later was shown to be nothing more than a pile of rocks.)
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 14
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/28/2009 8:09:16 PM

Oh No! Don't tell me that Richard Hoagland crawled back out from under his pile of rocks and is trying to start up another one of his "extraterrestrial frenzies" again!


Mortgage must be due.
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 16
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 2:35:33 AM
That is so not fair 'themadfiddler', you totally stole my idea of plugging iron sky in an conspiracy moon base oriented thread.

In any case it'll be interesting to see just what's buried under that rocky surface, sure we got moon rocks but those are just from the surface, the stuff buried down 10 to 20 feet would probably be more along the lines of the moon's natural material instead of impact residue.
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 17
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 7:59:37 AM
The moon attacked us first. Can't expect us not to retaliate.
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 19
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 8:15:38 AM
fiddler...

Robert Heinlein beat you to that one. "Rocket Ship Galileo"...
 fortran
Joined: 2/21/2004
Msg: 20
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 8:38:43 AM
A few groups have done similar things, looking to bring back He-3. I believe the He-3 ideas are feasible financially. I believe bring back something like a tonne of rock for gram quantity souvenirs also comes close to breakeven.

For me, if someone is going to go to the Moon to bring back rocks or He-3, they are going to be leaving stuff behind as well. I would like them to leave behind parts, machines, ... made of very particular things: Cu, Ag, V, Sn and a handful of other elements. That way, when we try to set up a base on the Moon, we have a source of alloying elements to use with the Al, Ti and Fe we can find there now. The silver and copper are pretty easy to include as wire for electrical wiring. Vanadium can substitute for Fe in a few places. I have no idea what kind of component one would build out of Sn. I suppose something will come to mind eventually.
 batdann
Joined: 10/18/2008
Msg: 22
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 9:49:17 PM
well why???I WOULD DO IT TOO CREATE AN ADMOSPHERE THAT COULD SUPPORT NATURE.....JUSS M Y OPINION
 Vancer
Joined: 10/29/2006
Msg: 23
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/29/2009 10:07:52 PM

well why???I WOULD DO IT TOO CREATE AN ADMOSPHERE THAT COULD SUPPORT NATURE.....JUSS M Y OPINION

Goddamn those **stards! I knew they were planning on bailing.
Why the heck didn't they give me an invitation like they promised they would.
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 24
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/30/2009 8:10:08 AM
Wonder if I got one of those tickets to the moon that National Geographic and Thomas Cook offered years ago. I wonder if they'd still honour it?
Hmmm....
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 26
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/30/2009 8:34:27 PM

y'all are jerks. good luck finding any woman to love. think about it


You already said that. Is that the only "threat" you can come up with?

Though now that I think about it, the other woman in your picture is pretty cute. Is she available?
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 27
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 6/30/2009 8:47:26 PM
y'all are jerks. good luck finding any woman to love. think about it


Um, sure...petulant much?

But, in answer to your original post, let's synopsize. No, they're not actually "bombing" the moon. They're impacting something onto it. There's been a few of these impacters. Aim is to excavate material so that it can be spectrally analyzed by the LRO orbiter and ground-based telescopes.

As for NASA's budget, it is actually stunningly small compared to what is spent elsewhere, say, the War in Iraq? In fact, they could have gone to Mars, come back and gone again with the money that's been spent there.

Finally, what do you think they're trying to do? Attack an alien base? Blow up the Monolith? What?

And, I will repeat what I said in an earlier post about aliens mining the moon. Why even bother making the trip? They're more than likely to find the resources they need a lot closer to home.

I repeat: Very poor choice in words by the headline and story writers in the Telegraph story.
 TheGeek33
Joined: 4/3/2009
Msg: 28
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/2/2009 1:11:26 AM
You have to admit that the idea of being the first to bomb the moon is pretty awesome!
 yna6
Joined: 1/21/2007
Msg: 29
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/2/2009 8:01:36 AM
I think it has been done before. Different areas would have different "signatures" to them...so a series of impacts would produce the most information.
 Super Ryan
Joined: 9/15/2007
Msg: 30
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/2/2009 10:02:15 AM
This thread deserves a story from the past.


US planned one big nuclear blast for mankind
The US Air Force developed a top-secret plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon as a display of military might at the height of the Cold War.

In an exclusive interview with The Observer, Dr Leonard Reiffel, 73, the physicist who fronted the project in the late Fifties at the US military-backed Armour Research Foundation, revealed America's extraordinary lunar plan.

'It was clear the main aim of the proposed detonation was a PR exercise and a show of one-upmanship. The Air Force wanted a mushroom cloud so large it would be visible on earth,' he said yesterday. 'The US was lagging behind in the space race.'

'The explosion would obviously be best on the dark side of the moon and the theory was that if the bomb exploded on the edge of the moon, the mushroom cloud would be illuminated by the sun.' The bomb would have been at least as large as the one used on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

'I made it clear at the time there would be a huge cost to science of destroying a pristine lunar environment, but the US Air Force were mainly concerned about how the nuclear explosion would play on earth,' said Reiffel.

Although he believes the blast would have had little environmental impact on Earth, its crater may have ruined the face of the 'man in the moon'.

Reiffel would not reveal how the explosion would have taken place. But he confirmed it was 'certainly technically feasible' and that at the time an intercontinental ballistic nuclear missile would have been capable of hitting a target on the moon with an accuracy of within two miles.

Reiffel was approached by senior US Air Force officers in 1958, who asked him to 'fast-track' a project to investigate the visibility and effects of a nuclear explosion on the moon. The top-secret Project A119, was entitled 'A Study of Lunar Research Flights'.

'Had the project been made public there would have been an outcry,' said Reiffel.

Many Cold War documents are still classified in the US, but details of Project A119 emerged after a biography of celebrated US scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan was published there last year.

Sagan, who died in 1996, was famous for popularising science in the US and pioneering the study of potential life on other planets. At the Armour Foundation in Chicago - now called the Illinois Institute of Technology Research - he was hired by Reiffel to undertake mathematical modelling on the expansion of an exploding dust cloud in the space around the moon. This was key to calculating the visibility of such a cloud from the Earth.

At the time scientists still believed there might be microbial life on the moon and Sagan had suggested a nuclear explosion might be used to detect organisms.

Despite the highly classified nature of the work, Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson, discovered that he had disclosed details of it when he applied for the prestigious Miller Institute graduate fellowship to Berkeley.

Yet, until today, the full nature of Project A119 has never been revealed. Friends of Sagan believe he never would have wilfully revealed classified information, but Reiffel has come forward to put the 'historical record straight'.

Reiffel continued: 'It was well known that the existence of this project was top secret. Had Sagan wanted to make any disclosures to any party, as his boss at the time, I would have had to take forward any such request and Air Force permission would have been extremely unlikely in those very tense times.'

In a letter to the science magazine Nature, Reiffel said: 'Fortunately for the future of lunar science, a one or two horse race to detonate a nuclear explosion never occurred. But in my opinion Sagan breached security in March, 1959.'

Reiffel produced eight reports between May 1958 and January 1959 on the feasibility of the plan, all of which were destroyed in 1987 by the foundation. Reiffel would not discuss details of these reports, believing they were still classified, but it was clear the conclusion was that the explosion would have been visible from Earth

He does not know why the plans were scrapped, but said: 'Thankfully, the thinking changed. I am horrified that such a gesture to sway public opinion was ever considered.'

Dr David Lowry, a British nuclear historian, said: 'It is obscene. To think that the first contact human beings would have had with another world would have been to explode a nuclear bomb. Had they gone ahead, we would never have had the romantic image of Neil Armstrong taking "one giant step for mankind".'

Lowry believes Project A119 has relevance today with the US proposing a missile defence system in space. He said: 'The US has always wanted to militarise space and some of the fanciful ideas currently being put forward will seem as incredible as the idea of nuking the moon in the Fifties seems today.'

A Pentagon spokesman would not confirm or deny the plans.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2000/may/14/spaceexploration.theobserver
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 31
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NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/2/2009 1:13:26 PM
exactly.......the earths supply of naturally occuring He-3 would proudly fill a 5 gallon bucket half full...........if we could find al of it....theres evidence that theres a fair amount on the moon.......among other uses ...He-3 is nessairy for the construction of anti-matter and for containment purposes
according to science........1 lb of properly contained anti-matter could supply the world with electricity
 _Paradoximus_Maximus
Joined: 2/24/2009
Msg: 32
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/2/2009 8:23:18 PM
Could just wait 10 to 50 thousand years for a suitable asteroid impact -- but maybe a suitable asteroid will find us by that time too -- so the experiment wouldn't have any observers left to make notes.

A pound of anti-matter could have a greater effect than powering electric toasters and ACs -- last time I checked the use of anti-matter as a practical fuel source was not quite off the drawing board.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 35
NASA to bomb the moon-why?
Posted: 7/3/2009 10:45:34 AM
Okay, if the concern is that the "bomb" is intended to blast an alien base, might I point out that the impact won't take place until October. That would give said aliens ample opportunity to launch countermeasures, dontcha think?
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