US planned to detonate nuclear bomb on moon to scare USSR: Scientist
Washington harbored plans of detonating a nuclear bomb on the moon to intimidate the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the late 1950s,the Daily Mail has reported, citing one of the scientists involved in the project.
Scared by the Soviet Union’s success in 1957 in launching the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik, the United States planned to launch a missile carrying a nuclear device that would then detonate once it hit the moon in an effort to intimidate Moscow.
The architects of the project, astronomer Carl Sagan and physicist Leonard Reiffel – who broke his silence over the matter – planned to use an atomic bomb rather than a hydrogen bomb because the latter might have been too heavy for the missile.
The project, however, was never carried out due to fears of damaging people on Earth if the mission failed and concerns about exposing the moon to radioactive elements.