According to a recent CNN report, America had plans to blow up a nuclear bomb on the moon in the late 1950s. The confession came from Leonard Reiffel, a physicist who worked for the government at the time. I wasn’t alive in the 1950s but I think it is pretty safe to say that America regretted electing President Wile E. Coyote to office.
Operation Big-Effing-Explosion-In-The-Sky was first thought up in during America’s nuclear arms race with Russia. The USSR had already launched Sputnik 1 and it seemed like the U.S. was destined to be the No. 2 power. It was then that the U.S. Air Force decided to research ways to make a statement to the world. Reiffel claims that one project the Air Force was researching to make this statement was the plausibility of nuking the moon.
Reiffel told CNN that:
People were worried very much by [first human in space, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri] Gagarin and Sputnik and the very great accomplishments of the Soviet Union in those days, and in comparison, the United States was feared to be looking puny. So this was a concept to sort of reassure people that the United States could maintain a mutually-assured deterrence, and therefore avoid any huge conflagration on the Earth.
The project was given the name “Project A-119” and titled “A Study of Lunar Research Flights.” A pretty docile name for a project that involved blowing up a celestial body.
Eventually the project was abandoned for obvious reasons and eventually America went on to be No. 1. This just shows what the good ol’ U.S. of A. can accomplish without destroying the universe in the process.
You can watch the whole interview here:
Eitan Levine is a New York City based comic. Follow him on Twitter at @Eitanthegoalie .