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Report: U.S. Planned On Blowing Up Moon With Nuke During Cold War In 1950s

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File photo of the moon. (credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of the moon. (credit: LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Would Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin even had a moon to walk on if the United States had its way in the 1950s?

During the height of the Cold War, U.S. officials debated whether to detonate nuclear bomb on the moon in order to send a message to the Soviet Union, the Asian News International reports.

The secret project dubbed, “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” and nicknamed “Project A119,” was seriously being considered until it was scrapped because military officials were worried it would hurt the people on Earth.

The Daily Mail reports that astronomer Carl Sagan’s calculations were used regarding the dust and gas the blast would generate. The website also states that physicist Leonard Reiffel told the Associated Press in an interview in 2000 that a U.S. nuclear flash from Earth might have “intimidated” the Soviets.

The plan consisted of carrying a nuclear device some 238,000 miles to the moon on a missile that would have detonated on impact.

The Air Force declined comment to the AP on the report.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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