Project Thor: Space weapon explained
Still an unconfirmed project, Project Thor is the possible next-generation weapon of mass destruction without the nuclear fallout.
The Kinetic space weapons program, which cannot be confirmed to exist, was born. The idea here is to release a massive tungsten rod from Space, allow it to accelerate to the ground and deliver a kinetic force similar to a conventional nuclear weapon minus the atomic radiation fallout. Catch here is transporting these rods to Space, which would make each rod more expensive than a ballistic missile, but as weapons of mass destruction go, this one appears to be the least destructive.
Nuclear weapons, despite its abysmal reputation, has single-handed provided us with a very long period of general peace. The world is not a great place, and despite all the wars we see on the news, we live in the most peaceful era in human history. But humanity, as it seems, has a short-term memory. Mutually-assured-destruction, abbreviated as MAD, is the only reason for this long era of peace. If one country launches a nuclear warhead, a domino of nuclear weapons will launch. If the direct nuclear hit does not kill us, the radioactive debris in the clouds will ensure all life on Earth will disappear. Which is the worst-case scenario of course, and the area around Chernobyl is still uninhabitable today due to the radioactive fallout?
If history has taught us another thing, treaties are a temporary measure. Space will weaponize in the future, despite our protests. But which is better, a world with nuclear weapons or Space with kinetic weapons? A ballistic missile we can intercept, a nuclear warhead is a sophisticated technology which requires a perfect execution to detonate. An anti-tank bazooka, for example, explodes upon impact. The explosive ordinance inside of it cannot nullify; it can disassemble. Nuclear weapons, if targeted accurately, can be easily nullified. All you have to do is intercept it with a missile or concentrated laser. The moment the complex nuclear detonation system is interrupted in any way neutralizes the weapon.
Kinetic weapons are different technology. Say you release a hundred-kilogram ball from a space station, maybe the friction of re-entering our atmosphere shaves off a few kilograms of mass from it, but the ball has travelled a great distance. In every second, the speed of the ball increases by almost ten meters per second, every second. An object stationary weighs its weight, but an object moving has it's weight multiplied. Momentum is the term for it and is a combination of speed times mass. Now our one hundred kilogram ball, moving at hundreds of meters per second is increasing its momentum rapidly. If you can take a picture and capture the ball in the air accelerating towards the ground, you would no longer be looking at an object that weighs a hundred kilograms; it is now an object that weighs hundreds of tons.
A Kinetic space weapon might be impossible to stop. Yes, there is no radioactive nuclear fallout, but with a conventional nuclear ballistic missile, there is still a chance to intercept. Until humanity can counter asteroids from Space, we do not stand a chance against a single piece of tungsten rod.
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