Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – When the cold war (Cold War) took place, the United States (US) military forces developed a weapon concept nicknamed Rods From God or God’s Stick. Named Project Thor, this weapon has the power of a heavy metal drop from a super height.
The rare heavy metal is called tungsten and comes from outer space. The resulting kinetic energy will be enormous and enough to destroy a number of targets on Earth, quoted SlashGears Monday (21/8/2023).
The idea of a kinetic weapon is not new. Over the centuries, sides have dropped heavy objects on opposing sides.
For example, in the Vietnam War, the US also tried to direct projectiles called Lazy Dog. The weapon, which was a solid piece of steel and several inches long with fins, was said to have a speed of 500 mph (804.6 km per hour).
The Lazy Dog concept was developed by Boeing scientist Jerry Pournelle. It was he who developed the initial idea for Project Thor.
Thor had to be 20 feet (6 meters) long, one foot in diameter and weigh 24 thousand pounds (10.8 tons). When dropped from orbit, tungsten will have a speed of Mach 10 before colliding with the surface.
The impact is also far greater than Lazy Dog which can destroy light armored trucks or penetrate buildings. The scientists who developed Thor claimed the impact could be like a huge bomb.
It is hoped that the weapon will have kinetic energy to penetrate deep into the Earth. Including destroying every bunker and underground shelter.
However, this idea was ultimately canceled. Because the US needs a large enough capital to be able to do it in the real world.
NASA estimates that if the Thor project were carried out today, it would cost $10,000 to put one pound in orbit. This means that it would take up to US$240 million (Rp 3.6 trillion) to place a single tungsten rod in space.