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Bombing the Moon for Water 625

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the make-go-boom dept.
s20451 writes "In 1998, NASA scientists deliberately crashed the Lunar Prospector into the Moon, in a failed attempt to detect traces of water allegedly hiding in deep craters at the lunar south pole. Now the BBC is reporting a new proposal to attack the lunar poles with "Bunker Buster" missiles to liberate a detectable amount of water. Called Polar Night, the mission is being proposed as part of the "Discovery" series of probes."
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Bombing the Moon for Water

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  • by OwnerOfWhinyCat (654476) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:10PM (#5802657)
    They aren't going to attack the poles with "Bunker Buster" missles.

    They're going to emplant "scientific equipment" "...a few meters below the surface of the moon."
    Using "...probes are based on bunker-buster penetrators."

    And when compared with the cost of sending up a [wo]man to dig a six foot hole for the same information, it sounds terrific. Let's Terraform!
    • No, MSNBC would just embed reporters on the moon surface equipped with "video phones".
    • They aren't going to attack the poles with "Bunker Buster" missles.

      Yeah, they already did that about 60 years ago.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:35PM (#5802998)
      go U.S.A! we're totally going to KICK THE MOON'S ASS!!!
    • by spongman (182339) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:41PM (#5803081)
      I think they've just run out of places to look for Osama Bin Laden.
    • by Shoten (260439) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:59PM (#5803285)
      NASA could probably sell this better to the current Administration if they ran with the bombs concept, and said that bin Laden might be hiding on the moon :)
  • Aha! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Raul654 (453029) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#5802678) Homepage
    First Iraq, then North Korea, and now the moon! The Lunans are conspiring against our interests abroad! Conspiracy, I say!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#5802681)
    new proposal to attack the lunar poles with "Bunker Buster" missiles to liberate a detectable amount of water.

    We must free the water from its evil ruler Saddam Moonsein.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#5802682)
    They should give UN weapons inspectors more time!
  • by DennisZeMenace (131127) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:12PM (#5802684) Homepage
    The Moon has been added to the infamous "Axis of Evil" group...
  • first.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by EugeneK (50783) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:13PM (#5802693) Homepage Journal
    .....the US has to make up some stuff about how the moon has WMD, supports terrorism, and insinuate that it was somehow involved in 9/11.
  • Yeah, but why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EdgeShadow (665410)
    I fail to see the benefits of exposing trace amounts of water from the moon at the cost of destroying a small portion of it. The fact that we've already detected it proves it's there.
    • by dsanfte (443781)
      Don't be a sentimental idiot. The moon is a big, sterile rock. Blowing up 1/10000000th of it won't have any negative effects whatsoever... meteors crash onto its surface regularly, you know.
    • Re:Yeah, but why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:23PM (#5802823) Homepage Journal
      From the BBC article:
      • What is the nature of the deposit?
      • What is the source of the water?
      • Are other ices besides water ice present?
      • Is the hydrogen actually in the form of water ice, or is
      • it hydrogen from the solar wind?

      So, we want to know more. And this is one way to do it.
    • destroying it? you are aware its a big rock right? and pretty much all a bomb will do is move a couple of rocks from point A to point B in hopes that somewhere among that debris is water. Ive seen similar sentiments in a few posts now, and I hope everyone realizes that the moon, while smaller than the earth, is still what most would consider really f****** big in non scientific terms. This bomb is going to have zero impact on the moon, and the non-business as usual will continue on the moon. I am sure an
    • by Wee (17189) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:27PM (#5802899)
      We'll stripmine the moon later.

      -B

  • Hey! (Score:4, Funny)

    by deadsaijinx* (637410) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:14PM (#5802706) Homepage
    Guess what I just found out! It ends up there is lots of water on earth, and it's not even protected by rocks. No need to blow the place up to get it! ^^

    okay, anyway, the only purpose for looking for water is to find life on the moon. By using missiles to release the water, we blow up any life we may have found, just a thought....
    • Re:Hey! (Score:5, Informative)

      by meridian-gh (584679) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:26PM (#5802883)
      Life?

      More like fuel. Hydrogen and Oxygen. Guess what the shuttle engines run off of?

      If we discovered water in any signifigant quantity on the moon, it would (someday) make getting there and back much cheaper and easier. Instead of packing the gas with us, we can stop at the ol' lunar gas station. It is so hellaciously expensive to put things in orbit, every pound saved is a penny earned.

      It could also make construction of spacecraft on the moon or in orbit a possibility. Again, the less we have to bring up with us, the better.

      Regards,

      Meri

  • by KDan (90353)
    Really, my... fellow americans. *stares at camera* I strongly believe that the moon is currently harbouring all kinds... of weapons of mass destruction. They most definitely have nucular weapon facilities. They are a threat to our way of life, to our liberty... and to the liberty... of all the free people of the Earth *blank stare* And so it is with great sadness, but firmness of purpose, that we must carry on, with the help of God, and rid the solar system of weapons of mass destruction.

    George
  • by sevensharpnine (231974) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:14PM (#5802711)
    And in related news, NASA officials recently announced an exploratory campaign will be taking place in Syria next week.
  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:15PM (#5802728)
    Bombing the moon? Finally: some astronomy that the Bush camp can get behind.
  • by jj_johny (626460) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:15PM (#5802729)
    "I am so ashamed to be from the same state that Johnson space center is in." - Natalie Maines
  • by stuckatwork (622157) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:16PM (#5802740)
    ...pictured Slim Pickens on a bomb in a space suit riding towards the moon yelling "whoo hoo", a la Dr. Strangelove?

    • ...pictured Slim Pickens on a bomb in a space suit riding towards the moon yelling "whoo hoo", a la Dr. Strangelove?

      In space, no one can hear a hillbilly scream.

  • It's the one in the 'Shock testing' section.

    I sure hope the safety is on... Either way, I don't think I would stand directly under that thing.

    (Apologies to those of you who get there after the site has died and can't see the pictures. I'm just an insensitive clod.)
  • hmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by abhisarda (638576)
    they will use bunker busting bombs.. the point is that these bombs are used against man-made structures.. and they are much easier to penetrate than solid ground.

    The bomb might have to be a nuclear one. Another question is about the delivery capability. Moon does'nt have oxygen. Therefore this bomb will need to have its own oxygen system.

    The place they bomb and the place where the spacecraft is located has to be some distance apart. The dust(?) created from this bomb will linger far longer than earth beca
    • Well, yeah, it strikes me as a silly idea. But you've got some facts wrong:

      Most bombs work fine in the absence of external oxygen.

      Bunker busters are designed to penetrate the rock above bunkers, as well as the bunkers themselves. (most "safety bunkers" are carved out of the bedrock).
    • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nate1138 (325593) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:37PM (#5803022)
      Did you even read the article? There aren't going to be any explosives at all on these missions (if approved). They use the PENETRATION technology of "Bunker Busters" to bury sensors under the moon's surface, and those sensors look for water/life/whatever and send the data home.

      And by the way, bombs don't generally need atmospheric oxygen, the oxidizer is part of the explosive compound.

    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nix0n (649693) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:59PM (#5803273)
      Moon does'nt have oxygen. Therefore this bomb will need to have its own oxygen system.

      Umm, the vast majority of conventional munitions have their own oxidizing agent, with very few exceptions( such as the fuel-air bomb ).

      If a substance's oxidation rate is dependent on its contact with atmospheric oxygen, it would be far more likely to "burn" than "explode".

      The dust(?) created from this bomb will linger far longer than earth because of moon's gravity.

      Another problem with your reasoning. The specific reason that dust "lingers" on earth is buoyant forces BY THE AIR upon very small dust particles. the moon's gravity well is smaller than that of the Earth, but the fact that F=ma will prevail without impedance by an atmosphere will make the "dust" settle rather quickly.
  • So long as they won't fire their probes in my property [google.be] I'm fine with the idea. Altough it really does sound corny.
  • by dr_dank (472072) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:17PM (#5802759) Homepage Journal
    We turn to Geraldo Rivera, who is sketching a map in the dirt as we speak.
  • ...we shall send a monkey to the surface of the Sun to see if it can survive the x-rays/gamma rays/solar winds/radiation/heat
  • the title waves should only last for a few hundred years.

    How's that for shock and awe?
  • by mattsucks (541950) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:20PM (#5802783) Homepage
    Remember when you were a kid, and wanted to be an astronaut? And remember also when you were a kid, how cool it was to smash things together just to see what would happen?

  • When do the bookies start taking bets on which chain will be the first to expand to the moon? Hilton Storms? Best Western - Sea of Tranqulity?

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
  • cheese (Score:5, Funny)

    by DanThe1Man (46872) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:23PM (#5802818)
    I think they are really just trying to find a better source for cheese.

    Little know fact: The cheese mines on earth are dwindling
  • Aren't these bunker buster bombs a tad heavy?
  • by mao che minh (611166) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:24PM (#5802839) Journal
    In a scheduled press conference, British Prime Minister Tony Blair will announce that he fully supports the US action against the moon, much to the behest of the Labor Party.

    Iraqi intelligence officials are reporting that the moon intends on defending itself against the crusaders to the end, and has already prepared the graves for thousands of imperialist satans.

  • "So *that's* where Baghdad Bob is hiding", but with all the other comments, it's sorta moot.
  • This is just what we need as our first contact with the moon people!
  • by rabtech (223758)
    Is anyone else having flashbacks to the book/movie "The Time Machine"?

    So who gets to live underground and who gets to be food?
  • I can see the presidential press conference now:

    "It is imperitive that we deal the Moonites a crippling blow in decisive fashion.
    I can see them up there. They wave tubes of toothpaste at me.
    They speak to me.
    No! My thoughts are my own!"
  • by limekiller4 (451497) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:27PM (#5802890) Homepage
    (Reuters) In other news, NASA unveiled plans today to hit Geraldo Rivera over the noggin with a ball-peen hammer to see if any brains could be detected in the ensuing plume. Critics claim that the odds of success are too small to warrant the effort.
  • by chimpo13 (471212)
    We just need to strike back at the Moon for what they did to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

    That or attack those Moonenites for keying the Camaro on Aqua Team Hunger Force.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:29PM (#5802921)
    lobbing ordnance at the moon is probably the only way the US won't be able to either kill its own people or its allies. although i have a sinking feeling that the rocket will burn up somewhere ofer England and waste some british troops.
  • This is where we GO TO FAR and blow up our own moon and as it comes crashing down upon us I dive back into my time machine and go even farther into THE FUTURE
  • I guess we'll be seeing BUS carved into the moon's surface. No one will ever forget the President who tattooed the moon.
    • I guess we'll be seeing BUS carved into the moon's surface. No one will ever forget the President who tattooed the moon.

      Later, there will be a moon reconstruction mission on which they use precision blasting to try and fill the holes, though they are only able to fix the 'B'.

      From then on, the moon will always say 'US'.

      Oh, and there will be a giant bite taken out of it, too. :)
  • Jupiter and Mars threaten to veto any resolution authorizing use of force by NASA to 'liberate' water.

    In response to the administration's claim that Mars was a 'traitor', other planets and satellites stated "we will wait to see the if the next comment also comes from Uranus, and then make our decision."

  • I saw this once in a movie. I think it blows the moon into big chunks which come down on the earth. Or was that a children's breakfast cereal commercial? Mmm. Marshmellow moon chunks.
  • by msheppard (150231) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:38PM (#5803036) Homepage Journal
    We should probably promote this as a "Ravine Change."

    M@
  • by bauernakke (545050) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:40PM (#5803056)
    http://www.salon.com/comics/tomo/2003/01/13/tomo/s tory.jpg
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:41PM (#5803082) Homepage Journal
    As a Frenchman, I cannot support this unilateral decision to liberate water from the moon. We must give the inspectors more time so we can better cover up our involvement with the moon. In the mean time, we (in France) are boycotting lawn darts in protest because we will not glamourize lobbing missiles at the moon.

    However, should the Americans find water on the moon, we'll completely reverse our position.
  • Mr. Show (Score:5, Funny)

    by underwhelm (53409) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .mlehwrednu.> on Thursday April 24, 2003 @04:45PM (#5803119) Homepage Journal
    David: We have the technology; The time is now; science can wait no longer; the children are our future. America can, should, must and will blow up the moon.

    Bob: Yeah. And we'll be doing it during a full moon so we make sure we get it all.
  • Isn't earth like 3/4 water already? We have plenty. Why do we need to mess with the moon?
  • A show of hands.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gblues (90260) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @05:47PM (#5803794)
    How many people read the writeup and saw the lame Iraq jokes coming a mile away?

    Yeah, I thought so.

    Nathan
  • by EvilBastard (77954) on Thursday April 24, 2003 @06:16PM (#5804037) Homepage
    Cause he'd get really annoyed at the decendants of the Mutineers [baen.com] trying to poke him with a pin to see if there's anything good inside

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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