Did The U.S Ever Nuke The Moon?
During the cold war, the USSR and the US went to extraordinary lengths to gain an edge over one another. This was especially true with nuclear technology. To improve their nuclear devices, they tested their bombs on land, underground, underwater, and even in space.
Has the US ever detonated a nuclear bomb on the moon?
Top Secret Programs
In the late 1950′s, the United States Air Force developed a program called Project A119. Officially called, “A Study of Lunar Research Flights”. Unofficially it was called, “Let’s nuke the moon to show the world we can”.
Its purpose and goal was consistent with many projects going on during the cold war. To simply one-up the Soviets. The U.S was lagging behind in the space race at the time, and believed that it would be a relatively simple thing to achieve and would be great PR for public perception.
The detonation was to be at the edge of the dark side of the moon, so that the light from the sun would illuminate the mushroom cloud, making the explosion visible from Earth.
Despite the project being fast-tracked, it was eventually scrapped. While it would have certainly caught the Soviets attention and demonstrated U.S superiority, it was decided that the public would not have responded favorably.
Dr David Lowry, a noted British historian, was quoted saying, “This is obscene. To imagine that the first contact humans would have had with another world would have been to explode a nuclear bomb on it. Had they went ahead with it, we would never have had the iconic image of Neil Armstrong taking ‘one giant leap for mankind’.”