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In the s and s this idea was refined in science fiction novels such as Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle the same Pournelle that first proposed the idea for military use in a non-fiction context , in which aliens use a Thor-type system.

The biggest problem with asteroids is their ease of use relative to nuclear weapons. Down they go, flaming funeral pyres for the men in them. The units used for absorbed dose do not matter, the answer will be in the same units.

The thing is also white-hot so there will be a bit of thermal pulse as well, to add insult to injury. This sets tradeoffs between accuracy and time on station. The basic strategy of the attacker during a planetary invasion is to destroy enough of the surface defenses by bombardment to be able to dictate terms to the defender, or support troops should that be necessary. Sun power stations would supplant water power stations, at a much cheaper original cost and upkeep.

If warfare is about achieving political objectives by other means, you need to either leave someone to negotiate the surrender with, or leave something worth occupying. The livable areas of the earth could be increased by thirty percent, by moderation of climate, control of ice and snow, and of rain. Understand that the SLAM reactor, like all reactors, are not very radioactive.

As the atmospheric lens suddenly begins to send its ray of fiery sunlight down in concentrated fury, we realize the truth.

The above figures are for a SLAM flying at 50 foot tree-top level altitude. The SLAM may fly at a foot altitude instead of 1, feet, which will just increase the dosage. Then he left us there with just the spiders to watch us. Which means they didn't bother putting any cladding on the nuclear fuel elements, they are in direct contact with the air.

However, nuclear weapons are commonly detonated at some height above the ground to increase their effect. The discredited Strategic Defense Initiative had all sorts of ideas of how to deal with the problem. Deserts could be made livable through artificially induced rainfall.

The correct way to approach this calculation is writing the instantaneous dose rate as a function of time, then integrating it over the time period when the missile is over the horizon. Such missiles would remain vulnerable to air defenses, but their small size, relatively low cost, and lack of need to return to orbit make them an attractive proposition.

If one is diverted that passes within 1. Krupa has painted his conception of the most powerful weapon that could ever be devised. It would be easy to detonate the enemy's munitions dumps, to ignite his war material storage area, to melt cannons, tank turrets, iron bridges, the tracks of important train stations, and similar metal objects.

Thank you very much, Peter Schmidt and Simon Smith! The Department of Defense reported that Gemini spacecraft had demonstrated the capability to rendezvous with satellites, and proposed that the MOL could be called on to conduct inspection missions within its limited delta-V.

Rather than being a weapon of war they were depicted as part of a 'die-back' protocol designed to reduce Earth's human population to a sustainable level. At very short focal lengths the image is small and hot but as the focal length is increased the image becomes progressively bigger and cooler. This holds the leaders hostage to the people, ensuring they go through with their side of the bargain.

For the purposes of illustration, artist Paul has shown the sunlight beam above as well as below the atmospheric lens. Imagine a destructive hurricane, sweeping in from the sea, toward the large cities of Florida.

Secondly, the laser is a line-of-sight weapon, and is affected by the distance it must travel, both in total and through the atmosphere. Chemical fuel couldn't possibly fill the bill, the only thing with enough power was nuclear energy. This calls for higher math, probably calculus. The vertical red line is for 1 megaton 1, kilotons. A test of the Archimedes heat ray was carried out in by the Greek scientist Ioannis Sakkas. It has a very high closing velocity and small radar cross-section.

On a planet with an atmosphere the x-rays are absorbed by the atmosphere and become thermal radiation and atmospheric blast. Of course, I could also wonder why no one hasn't just uploaded a reasonable-quality graph ever.

If they fail to shoot it down, it is programmed to crash anyway. Moving trains, important war factories, entire industrial areas and large cities could be set ablaze. The options for bombardment are the same as for normal space warfare: Table 5 summarizes the suitable wavelengths. This graph looks like a cartoon sketch! This problem could also occur if the projectile was damaged, which would ease the problem of surface defense. This in turn reveals the locations of the fixed defenses, and forces the mobile ones to either fire their missiles which then renders them ineffective for the rest of the siege or risk revealing their location.

Areas of disease and plague could be cleared of germs by constant sunlight. For the crevice, with the sheer descent to the river on the right, the cliff wall at its back, came to an abrupt halt in a drop which caught at Shann's stomach when he ventured to look down.

Between the orbits of Mars and of Jupiter, the new, sharply-defined rings of asteroids moved smoothly. So either the spacecraft boosts the munition using a gun or cannon or coilgun or something that can impart enough delta-V to de-orbit it, or the munition de-orbits itself in a similar fashion using a rocket.

Moreover, the orbit can be made elliptical, which ensures that more of the orbit can be spent over the target. In the modern era, similar devices have been constructed and may be referred to as a heliostat or solar furnace.

This is that light cannot he brought to a sharp, pointed focus with lenses or mirrors unless it comes from a sharp, pointed light source. That's more like it, now we are getting into tactical nuclear weapons levels of damage. Zeus, was featured in the movie G. In his book Secrete Inventionis , he published details of a giant mirror to burn enemy ships by focusing the sun's rays on them.

What had caused such a break between the height on which they stood and the much taller peak beyond, Shann could not guess. I really have to buckle down and learn calculus, and master Wolfram Alpha. At this juncture, a reputation for honesty and honor would greatly help the attacker. The motivation of the empire can be something stupidly human like "gotta collect 'em all! This was their dish; for this they had been designed.

What occurs is that the sudden transition from a single, low-drag object to a large number of small, high-drag objects dumps a large amount of energy into the atmosphere in the form of heat, which produces effects akin to an explosion.

From the target's point of view, they would suffer from the optical illusion of the r-bomb apparently moving faster than light. With 6—8 satellites on a given orbit, a target could be hit within 12—15 minutes from any given time, less than half the time taken by an ICBM and without the launch warning. A northern shipping route could be kept open the year around. MODERN aviation, and the great success of aerial blitzkrieg warfare, has shown us that in the future, the rocket ship, and the space ship, will play a very important part in the wars of the future.

When MythBusters broadcast the result of the San Francisco experiment in January , the claim was placed in the category of "busted" or failed because of the length of time and the ideal weather conditions required for combustion to occur. The use of multiple laser platforms can solve many of these problems, and the question then becomes finding the balance between coverage and the minimum number of platforms. Larger objects will pass by less often, although stony asteroids become viable weapons as the size increases.

But what if we hand-wave an unknown resource, something that our scientists have not even discovered yet?