The US wanted to stop the Earth in the event of a nuclear strike by the USSR: this crazy plan would have been the end of humanity
At the height of the Cold War, the United States of America seriously discussed the idea of stopping the Earth in the event of a nuclear strike by the Soviet Union on US territory. Despite the fact that the authors of this plan recognised it as inventive at the time, scientists suggest that it would have been a catastrophe for humanity.
The unusual defence strategy was described in his book by Daniel Ellsberg, a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, who saw the plans developed by the United States with his own eyes. Implementing this plan would have been much more frightening than a nuclear strike.
The idea was that as soon as the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radars detected the departure of missiles with nuclear warheads from the USSR, the Americans would launch an array of Atlas engines that would cause the Earth's rotation to stop completely for a moment.
According to the authors of the plan, this moment would be enough for the Soviet missiles to continue to move by inertia and fail to hit the targets they were aimed at. It was believed that the main target of the Soviets would be the so-called American missile fields in North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Missouri.
In this way, Ellsberg wrote, the US ground-based "retaliation force" would be saved to launch a retaliatory attack (when the Earth resumes normal rotation) on cities and military targets in the Soviet Union.
The analyst acknowledges that few people in the world may have a conscious desire to be hit by a nuclear mushroom, but he believes that the American idea would be even worse than a nuclear strike.
According to his calculations, in order to prevent the Earth from rotating, it would be necessary to burn 2.6 x 1021 kilograms of fuel at the same time, which is "about 500 times the mass of the Earth's atmosphere".
Ellsberg notes that even assuming that someone could build that many engines and launch them simultaneously, "incredibly hot combustion products" would be released into the planet's atmosphere, weighing hundreds of times more than the atmosphere itself.
"So, even if your targets survive a nuclear war, everyone would be incinerated by the exhaust fumes that would spread across the planet," Ellsberg notes.
But this, according to the analyst, is only the beginning. Since the Earth was moving at a speed of 465 metres per second before the abrupt stop, everything on its surface would have moved at that speed, continuing to move by inertia. As a result, water, stones and other debris would fly eastwards, tearing up everything in its path and sending a whole pile of Earth debris into the atmosphere and into space.
But we should not forget about the Earth's gravity, because everything that takes off from the Earth when it stops will subsequently fall back, as it will not reach sufficient speed to overcome the planet's gravity. James Zimbelman, a senior geologist and geologist emeritus at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., suggested that such a bombardment of the planet with its own debris would turn the Earth's surface into a molten "ocean of rocks."
So even if the US plan to avoid a nuclear strike had been successful, they would have had only a few moments to celebrate, followed by real chaos on a global scale.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also talked about what will happen when the Earth's rotation accelerates.