US Project Thor Would Fire Tungsten Poles at Targets From Outer Space | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


US Project Thor Would Fire Tungsten Poles at Targets From Outer Space

As the threat of space-based weapons - and treaties to limit them - occupies an increasingly large part of defense spending and international competition, nations have sought loopholes in existing treaties to get a leg up on their opponents, including placing kinetic energy weapons in orbit.

The US Air Force's "Project Thor" revives a dream weapons manufacturers have had since the dawn of nuclear weapons: how to create damage equivalent to a nuclear bomb without the trouble of nuclear radiation and fallout. Kinetic bombardment, once prohibitively expensive, is now back on the agenda, since it involves no explosives and is not technically barred from being put into orbit by the Outer Space Treaty.

The proposal involves placing into orbit a bundle of telephone pole-sized rods made out of tungsten, an extremely durable metal with the highest melting point of any element. The rods could be dropped from orbit at the right moment, accelerating during their thousand-mile plummet to Earth to more than 10 times the speed of sound.

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