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March 11, 2006


Ahh... the 1950s. Those were the days. Men were men, women were women, a steak was a steak and a missile was a Supersonic Low-Altitude Missile. With an onboard 500-megawatt reactor, this baby was really a nuclear missile (hat tip to Varenius).

Pluto's namesake was Roman mythology's ruler of the underworld -- seemingly an apt inspiration for a locomotive-size missile that would travel at near-treetop level at three times the speed of sound, tossing out hydrogen bombs as it roared overhead. Pluto's designers calculated that its shock wave alone might kill people on the ground. Then there was the problem of fallout. In addition to gamma and neutron radiation from the unshielded reactor, Pluto's nuclear ramjet would spew fission fragments out in its exhaust as it flew by.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at March 11, 2006 09:23 AM

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