Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Digging with Bombs

[Image: Storax Sedan shallow underground nuclear test by the United States, used for a cratering experiment. 6 July 1962 (GMT), Nevada Test Site, DOE photo - Wikipedia]

Well, this marks my first self-reblog via a nice little tango with Regine. Since she took my post at Archinect and ran with it, I am reblogging her excellent entry reblogging mine, right here:

"When the nuclear bomb was still young, weapons scientists dreamed that the doomsday devices could peacefully reshape the world. So began one of the most fantastic schemes ever devised—using hydrogen bombs as tools for civil engineering projects. Geographer and historian Scott Kirsch talked with U.S. News about his new book, Proving Grounds: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving."

[Image: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving, Scott Kirsch, Rutgers University Press (November 30, 2005) - Amazon]

'In the 1950s and 1960s, there was pressure on the nuclear weapons labs to find peaceful uses for their explosives. The result was Project Plowshare. One of the main ideas was that buried bombs could be used to move dirt and rock in what came to be called geographic engineering.

In 1956, Edward Teller proposed cutting a "second Suez Canal" with nuclear explosives. He also wanted to shoot one of his super weapons into the moon to "see what our satellite is made of."

Estimates showed the excavation for the canal could be accomplished by detonating 300 buried nuclear weapons across southern Panama. Another plan envisioned 764 bombs buried in a line across Columbia. But, the government decided to make a first test with a "small" nuclear explosion to create a small harbor in northern Alaska.

[Image: Crater from the 1962 "Sedan" nuclear test as part of Operation Plowshare. The 104 kiloton blast displaced 12 million tons of earth and created a crater 320 feet deep and 1,280 feet wide. (Look to the size of the roads in the bottom-right of the picture, and the observation deck at the lower-right edge of the crater, for a sense of scale)- Wikipedia]

In 1962, a 104-kiloton, dirty nuclear bomb was shot off to gather scaling information. This so-called Sedan crater was used to train the astronauts for work on the moon and to woo potential clients for the earthmoving venture.'

Also see: Naoya Hatakeyama & Geoff's Earth-Fountain© (Pruned)

Via Archinect > we-make-money-not-art


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