America's Chilly Warfare Secret: Exploring The 'Rods From God' Area Weapon Idea

The “rods” have been to be 20 toes lengthy, and one foot in diameter. When dropped from orbit, the 24,000-pound rods would attain “hypersonic” speeds approaching Mach 10 earlier than affect. Whereas a Lazy Canine may take out a lightly-armored truck or penetrate a constructing, the scientists behind the “rods from God” envisaged a stage of destruction extra generally related to large ground-penetrating bombs. 

A single “rod” of titanium would have sufficient kinetic vitality to penetrate deep into the earth, destroying any hardened bunkers and underground shelters in its path. Like earlier kinetic weapons, the “rods from God” can be mechanically easy whereas being nearly inconceivable to defend towards. In contrast to nuclear weapons, nevertheless, they’d create no harmful fallout.

So why weren’t they adopted? Satirically, regardless of their simplicity, the “rods” can be prohibitively costly. That is as a result of tungsten may be very heavy. NASA estimates that at this time, it prices round $10,000 to place one pound of weight into orbit, which means that it will price round $240,000,000 to get a single “rod” into house. Again within the Sixties, with the rocket expertise of the time, it will have been much more costly.

Like one other Chilly Warfare weapon, Russia’s large “Tsar Bomba,” America’s “rods from God” idea by no means reached fruition in the course of the Chilly Warfare, but it surely wasn’t fully shelved. After 9/11, as Western forces hunted Al Qaeda by the mountains of Afghanistan, the idea of hypersonic “bunker-busting” hypersonic weapons was dusted off as soon as once more.