scinerds:

US Planned to Nuke Moon as Display of Power
In a secret project recently discovered, the United States planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb in the 1950s as a display of the country’s strength during the Cold War space race.
The secret project, called “A Study of Lunar Research Flights”, as well as “Project A119” was never carried out but initially intended to intimidate the Soviet Union after their launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, which demonstrated their technological power, the Daily Mail reports.
The sight of a magnificent nuclear flash from Earth was meant to terrify the Soviet Union and boost US confidence, physicist Leonard Reiffel, 85, told the Associated Press. The nuclear device would have been launched from a missile from an unknown location. It would have ignited upon impact with the moon, causing a massive explosion that was visible from Earth.
The detonation would have been the result of an atom bomb, since a hydrogen bomb was too heavy for a missile to carry the 238,000 miles to the moon.
Astronomer Carl Sagan was responsible for some of the calculations that could cause the nuclear detonation. Sagan, who later became a famous author of popular science, was a young graduate student at the time. He worked as a NASA advisor from the 1950s onward and died in 1996.
One of Sagan’s biographers claims he may have committed a security breach by revealing the classified project in 1959 in his application for an academic fellowship. Reiffel, who once served as deputy director at NASA and was responsible for the nuclear research at the Armour Research Foundation in 1958, confirmed this claim.
[Read More]
(photo: Source)

scinerds:

US Planned to Nuke Moon as Display of Power

In a secret project recently discovered, the United States planned to blow up the moon with a nuclear bomb in the 1950s as a display of the country’s strength during the Cold War space race.

The secret project, called “A Study of Lunar Research Flights”, as well as “Project A119” was never carried out but initially intended to intimidate the Soviet Union after their launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, which demonstrated their technological power, the Daily Mail reports.

The sight of a magnificent nuclear flash from Earth was meant to terrify the Soviet Union and boost US confidence, physicist Leonard Reiffel, 85, told the Associated Press. The nuclear device would have been launched from a missile from an unknown location. It would have ignited upon impact with the moon, causing a massive explosion that was visible from Earth.

The detonation would have been the result of an atom bomb, since a hydrogen bomb was too heavy for a missile to carry the 238,000 miles to the moon.

Astronomer Carl Sagan was responsible for some of the calculations that could cause the nuclear detonation. Sagan, who later became a famous author of popular science, was a young graduate student at the time. He worked as a NASA advisor from the 1950s onward and died in 1996.

One of Sagan’s biographers claims he may have committed a security breach by revealing the classified project in 1959 in his application for an academic fellowship. Reiffel, who once served as deputy director at NASA and was responsible for the nuclear research at the Armour Research Foundation in 1958, confirmed this claim.

[Read More]

(photo: Source)

(via dendroica)

govtoversight:

The Fort Knox for uranium? Too bad the security force is having a hard time explaining how an 82-year-old nun and two peace activists broke in.

govtoversight:

The Fort Knox for uranium? Too bad the security force is having a hard time explaining how an 82-year-old nun and two peace activists broke in.

(Source: govtoversight)

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
Pakistani journalist Murtaza Razvi, senior assistant editor and head of magazines at Dawn, was found dead in Karachi yesterday, his body bearing the marks of torture.
In Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani, the son of slain former leader Burhanuddin Rabbani, will head the High Peace Council. 
The Taliban engaged in an 18 hour attack on Kabul that was ended early Monday by Afghan forces on the ground and coalition air assaults.
The LA Times published damning photographs of soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division posing with the bodies of suicide bombers. WARNING: The pictures in the link are quite graphic.
Interesting stat to consider: the US spends $14,000 annually per Afghan soldier, but each Afghan soldier is paid $1872. Here’s an interesting look into the finances.
At least 36 were killed on Thursday in blasts across Iraq from Ramadi and Kirkuk to Baghdad. Hundreds were injured.
Following South Sudan’s occupation of a disputed oil field, Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir declared that he would teach his southern neighbour a “final lesson by force.”
The Mexican police seized 250,000 US-made bullets that were being smuggled across the border.
Ban Ki-Moon declares that Syria has not complied with the cease-fire. No one is surprised.
A recent US-DPRK deal hailed as major progress has fallen through. North Korea is now saying it will not honor the deal to suspend uranium enrichment and long-range missile tests in exchange for food aid. A nuclear test seems inevitable.
India successfully tested a long-range ballistic missile with nuclear capability, signifying a regional arms build-up.
New polling data shows that Americans today report being more afraid of Iran than Americans in 1985 were afraid of the USSR. Interesting polling data, although I think we’re dealing with a different kind of fear.
As Libya undergoes its critical transition, it cannot forget the victims of the war’s sexual violence.
Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a Libyan commander who was abducted and flown to a Gaddhafi prison with the help of MI6, has begun legal proceedings against Jack Straw, the man who was at the time the British Foreign Secretary, for complicity in his torture during the rendition operation.
Yesterday was Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. McClatchy brings us a terrible story about the plight of many aging survivors living uncared for and below the poverty line in Israel.
Some 1200 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike this week, protesting the terrible conditions and humiliation inside their jails.
Panetta announced a “special victims unit” to deal with sexual assault in the military.
The Marines will open up their officer infantry school to women!
The TIME Top 100 list included its usual fair share of odd choices, but also some on point ones relevant to this list. Former defense secretary Robert Gates wrote about our inimitable Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Admiral Mike Mullen wrote about Barbara Van Dahlen, who, through her program Give An Hour, mobilizes mental health professionals in support of veterans. Also notably on the list are cartoonist Ali Ferzat, Samira Ibrahim, Manal al-Sharif and Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.
Photo: At rest after setting up a camp that overlooks the Pakistan border. April 8. Javier Manzano/Polaris

thepoliticalnotebook:

This Week in WarA Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: At rest after setting up a camp that overlooks the Pakistan border. April 8. Javier Manzano/Polaris

occupyallstreets:

Whistleblowing Wednesday: Satellite Images Reveals North Korea Preparing Rocket Launch In A Few Days
North Korea appears to be ramping up preparations for its internationally-condemned mid-April rocket launch, new satellite images have revealed.
The images, released by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, show a mobile radar trailer — which engineers use to gather real-time information about the rocket’s engines and guidance systems — and rows of seemingly empty fuel and oxidiser tanks.
The institute’s North Korean analysts 38 North have scrutinized satellite imagery taken last week of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the North Pyongan province. They appear to show that North Korea has “undertaken more extensive preparations than previously understood.”
It is no secret that North Korea plans to launch the Unha-3 rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-3 (Bright Star 3) satellite some time between 12 and 16 April to coincide with the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country. North Korea has said that the 100-kilogram satellite will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 500 kilometers for two years to study the country’s crops and natural resources.
However, Washington says that North Korea uses these sorts of launches to test missile systems for nuclear weapons that could target the United States. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, but analysts do not think that it has the technology needed to shrink a nuclear weapon and mount it onto a missile.
If North Korea was to launch a rocket, it would end an agreement from February 29 in which the United States said it would ship food aid to impoverished North Koreans in exchange for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests.
This would be the fourth long-range rocket launch since 1998. The most recent launch — the Unha-3 in April 2009 — was condemned by the UN and meant that North Korea pulled out of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. This led to tensions between North and South Korea, with at least 50 South Koreans killed in attacks that they blamed on the North.
Japan’s Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka has already said that it will shoot down a North Korean rocket if any falling debris looked as though it would threaten Japan’s territory.
South Korea has made similar comments about shooting down the North Korean rocket if it passes over its territory, with defence ministry spokesman Yoon Won-shick calling the launch “a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula.
Based on previous rocket launch timelines, it is likely that Unha-3 will be ready to launch on April 12.
Source

occupyallstreets:

Whistleblowing Wednesday: Satellite Images Reveals North Korea Preparing Rocket Launch In A Few Days

North Korea appears to be ramping up preparations for its internationally-condemned mid-April rocket launch, new satellite images have revealed.

The images, released by the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, show a mobile radar trailer — which engineers use to gather real-time information about the rocket’s engines and guidance systems — and rows of seemingly empty fuel and oxidiser tanks.

The institute’s North Korean analysts 38 North have scrutinized satellite imagery taken last week of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in the North Pyongan province. They appear to show that North Korea has “undertaken more extensive preparations than previously understood.

It is no secret that North Korea plans to launch the Unha-3 rocket carrying the Kwangmyongsong-3 (Bright Star 3) satellite some time between 12 and 16 April to coincide with the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country. North Korea has said that the 100-kilogram satellite will orbit the Earth at an altitude of 500 kilometers for two years to study the country’s crops and natural resources.

However, Washington says that North Korea uses these sorts of launches to test missile systems for nuclear weapons that could target the United States. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, but analysts do not think that it has the technology needed to shrink a nuclear weapon and mount it onto a missile.

If North Korea was to launch a rocket, it would end an agreement from February 29 in which the United States said it would ship food aid to impoverished North Koreans in exchange for a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests.

This would be the fourth long-range rocket launch since 1998. The most recent launch — the Unha-3 in April 2009 — was condemned by the UN and meant that North Korea pulled out of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks. This led to tensions between North and South Korea, with at least 50 South Koreans killed in attacks that they blamed on the North.

Japan’s Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka has already said that it will shoot down a North Korean rocket if any falling debris looked as though it would threaten Japan’s territory.

South Korea has made similar comments about shooting down the North Korean rocket if it passes over its territory, with defence ministry spokesman Yoon Won-shick calling the launch “a very reckless, provocative act” that undermines peace on the Korean peninsula.

Based on previous rocket launch timelines, it is likely that Unha-3 will be ready to launch on April 12.

Source

(via anarcho-queer)

motherjones:

We’re Spending More on Nukes Than We Did During the Cold War
Memo to the budget supercommittee: If you’re looking for billions in savings, check out the bloated nuclear weapons complex.

motherjones:

We’re Spending More on Nukes Than We Did During the Cold War

Memo to the budget supercommittee: If you’re looking for billions in savings, check out the bloated nuclear weapons complex.

(Source: Mother Jones)

shortformblog:

Rick Santorum advocates assassinating nuclear scientists: ”I think we need to send a very clear message — that if you are a scientist from Russia or North Korea or Iran and you’re going to work on the nuclear program to develop a nuclear bomb from Iran, you are not safe. And if people say you can’t go out and assassinate people, well, tell that to Al-Awlaki. We’ve done it. We’ve done it for American citizens. We can certainly do it for someone who’s producing a nuclear bomb that can be dropped on the state of Israel, or provides a nuclear shield for a country that will spread terrorism with impunity and change the face of the world.” Not much to add to that. (via John Ness)

(via shortformblog)