That Wayward Missile

By now everyone with a Twitter feed or a TV has heard about the missile accident in Russia…..but in case your rock is not equiped with either of those news sources….I can help……

A deadly explosion rocked the Nenoksa Missile Test Site in Russia last week, and Moscow has offered shifting accounts of what happened. A new report in the New York Times might explain why Moscow is being so cagey: This might have been the region’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, though on a much smaller scale. Specifically, US intelligence officials think a nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded just offshore, or at least a prototype of one that is near and dear to Vladimir Putin’s heart. On Sunday, officials of a Russian research institute confirmed that a nuclear reactor exploded, though they did not say it was linked to cruise missile tests. Seven people were killed, including five scientists. The institute says only that they were working on “small-scale sources of energy with the use of fissile materials.”

It’s not just US experts who suspect this involved an experimental cruise missile. A UK scientist tells the Guardian that independent experts think the blast came from the failure of a missile NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall and Russia calls the 9M730 Burevestnik. Putin boasted of the weapon in 2018, saying its nuclear source would make it virtually unstoppable. However, international nuclear experts have remained skeptical about whether such a missile could actually work. The Times phrases the biq question like so: “Beyond the human toll, American intelligence officials are questioning whether Mr. Putin’s grand dream of a revived arsenal evaporated in that mysterious explosion, or whether it was just an embarrassing setback in Moscow’s effort to build a new class of long-range and undersea weapons that the United States cannot intercept.”

This is a nuclear powered missile….do you know what the means?

We are not talking about a warhead attached….we are saying that the missile has its own nuclear power source.

Maybe you should think about that for a minute.

A flying unshielded nuclear reactor would spew massive amounts of radiation, and that’s if it’s working correctly.

When President Donald Trump heard that Russia’s experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile had exploded, killing seven scientists and causing a major radiological incident less than 300 miles from the Finnish border, he fired off a boastful tweet. “We have similar, though more advanced, technology,” he said. 

This is…not accurate. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States pursued a less advanced version of a similar technology but abandoned the effort before ever launching an actual test vehicle. Nuclear-powered cruise missiles, the Pentagon concluded, are a bad idea. 

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2019/08/nuclear-powered-cruise-missiles-are-terrible-idea-russias-test-explosion-shows-why/159189/

Now what about the US…well I do what I always do…..give you a shot of history….

The US spent a few years looking into something along these lines…it was called Project Pluto…..

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the development of controlled release of nuclear energy (as opposed to runaway reactions in nuclear weapons) seemed to make previously impossible things straightforward matters of engineering. On occasion, it made the unthinkable all too thinkable. Project Pluto, also known as the Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM), is one of the most extreme exemplars of this epoch. Unlike Project Orion, which envisioned a four thousand ton interplanetary spaceship powered by nuclear bombs, and Project Plowshare, which proposed using nuclear explosions for large civil engineering projects such as digging a new sea-level Panama canal, Pluto/SLAM (which I’ll henceforth refer to as Pluto) was developed and tested to the point where the technology had been proved. Pluto could have been deployed in the 1960s had the project not been cancelled due to financial reasons, competition from rival technologies, and people coming to their senses.

https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/pluto/

The history says it was abandoned in 1964….but after Trump Tweeted what he did are we still pursuing this or did it die in 1964?

Did Trump let slip some state secret that needed to remain secret?

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

10 thoughts on “That Wayward Missile

  1. Big toys for big boys. Always ‘playing with fire’ at the cost of somebody else’s life.
    It’s the superpower equivalent of trying to show who has the biggest schlong.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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