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John Kierein
2002-Feb-05, 01:29 PM
http://www.space.com/news/rumsfeld_space_020204.html
What is thunder rod? Hurled from space? Is this a space sick astronaut weapon?
I think it's the title of the new Austin Powers movie spoof of James Bond's Thunderball.
Anybody know what this is?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-05, 02:10 PM
That article does say that it is non-nuclear.

But, if "New earth-penetrating and thermobaric weapons could make obsolete the deep underground facilities," what would we do with Cheyenne Mountain?

Donnie B.
2002-Feb-05, 03:06 PM
On 2002-02-05 09:10, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
But, if "New earth-penetrating and thermobaric weapons could make obsolete the deep underground facilities," what would we do with Cheyenne Mountain?


60's-retro-theme hotel/restaurant/nightclub?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-05, 03:19 PM
we could use the concertina wire for coatrecks

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-05, 03:32 PM
There's a lot more active discussion going on about this over at the SDMB. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=114243)

Mnemonia
2002-Feb-05, 03:58 PM
On 2002-02-05 08:29, John Kierein wrote:
http://www.space.com/news/rumsfeld_space_020204.html
What is thunder rod?

The idea's been around awhile, so I'd hardly say it's new like the article suggests... Essentially it's a large metal rod or pipe (maybe 1 to 2 meters long and a few cms thick with apparently no, or very few, motorized parts to keep it on target) that is "shot" from an orbiting platform - actually its more or less released with a little push. The rod then plunges through the atmosphere, building up speed and strikes a ground based target with a HUGE amount of kinetic energy, on par with small nuclear weapons. It's basically a man-made meteor. The military loves this weapon because its cheap and easy to build, and no more expensive to deploy than a nuclear missile (actually you could mount several rods onto one platform and thus make it far cheaper than nukes.) I think the only thing holding up deployment is accuracy, especially if the target was to move after firing.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Feb-05, 04:05 PM
On 2002-02-05 10:58, Mnemonia wrote:
I think the only thing holding up deployment is accuracy, especially if the target was to move after firing.
Are you saying we have these things already manufactured and ready to launch, but we're waiting for the enemy to stop moving?

The Curtmudgeon
2002-Feb-05, 06:55 PM
On 2002-02-05 11:05, GrapesOfWrath wrote:
Are you saying we have these things already manufactured and ready to launch, but we're waiting for the enemy to stop moving?


I'm reminded of Bill Mauldin's WWII cartoon of a GI in a foxhole with a Panzer literally right on top of him. The GI's on the radio back to the Artillery: "I've got a target for you, but you're going to have to be patient!"

The (calling fire on my position!) Curtmudgeon