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Scenario: A being with multiple supernatural (Well, genetically-based but only a small group of people know the difference) abilities was recently wreaking havoc in the United States. A group of heroes with their own abilities managed to defeat it and cause the "core" of the creature to blast off towards the moon. It intends to hide up there and release small pieces of itself every now and then towards the surface of the Earth to attack.

Instead of asking how to defeat the being (which would require its own question and I think asking "How do I beat the monster" is discouraged?) I'm instead asking how Earth as a whole would deal with a threat on the moon.

Notes:

  • The entire Earth has been notified this being will not go away: it will not age until it expires, hunger will not stop it, and its hate will not fade.

  • The entire Earth has been notified this being does not hate based on gender, ethnicity, nationality, or religious beliefs.

So, how would we go about dealing with an alien creature on the moon dedicated to wiping out humanity? Can we send soldiers up there? Tanks? Can we bomb parts of the moon without ever setting foot off of Earth? And how long would these various tasks take to accomplish?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Aify, sphennings, Azuaron, MolbOrg, James Jun 2 '17 at 19:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ This supervillain you've constructed has the ultimate in high ground here. No really. Anything earth does to throw something at him requires a massive expenditure of energy and he could probably just catch it and throw it back with relatively minimal effort. Compare an Apollo lander to the space craft that took it there. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jun 2 '17 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Back during the space race between the United States and Russia, the U.S. had developed the technology to actually nuke the moon. The only reason they had not gone about showing their newly found technology as a "pissing contest" was - The chance of miss firing and harming others - The stereotypical "mushroom cloud" wouldn't be there as the difference in gravity was to much. Though this doesn't answer the question as a whole, it may send you along the way to developing a way to fight this enemy. P.s. Though the world may have been aware of the non sexist, xenophobic, etc. being on the moon, it $\endgroup$ – Connor Sabourin Jun 2 '17 at 17:50
  • $\begingroup$ It would be relatively easy to construct Earth Based high powered Lasers and it would be relatively easy to deploy Solar Mirrors (heat) all that need be done is a means of detecting and tracking your super organism. $\endgroup$ – Enigma Maitreya Jun 2 '17 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Draco18s Don't forget the Apollo Command/Service Module that actually brought the astronauts back. It's still easier than getting into Earth orbit, but overcoming a 2.38km/s escape velocity is non-trivial. $\endgroup$ – Catgut Jun 2 '17 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ nohow. no. no. no, atm. arbitrary amount of time depending on the pressure of circumstances. The question have no essence of a question, scene is unrelated and irrelevant to what you ask. If it not so then it is unclear what you are asking. The question is not opinion based, but it contains no sufficient and relevant information to the questions being asked. I vote unclear. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jun 2 '17 at 19:33
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When in doubt Nuke it

Far and away the very best way to easily bring destructive energy to a hostile object on the moon is to nuke it. Deploying personnel and equipment off earth is already extremely challenging, getting it safely to the moon more challenging still. Also as of right now, most spacecraft can't even get a large payload meaning people, life support, and weapons to the moon.

Nukes are relatively light and heavy lift rockets are very powerful. The falcon heavy for example could deliver a 16-ton payload to Mars so it could easily be repurposed to deliver a dozen nukes to the moon. Strap an MKV like guidance package so you can aim a little and your threat on the moon is toast.

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First off no, we would not send tanks to the moon. We probably could, but it would be an awful waste. Standard tanks would not operate in the vacuum of space, so we'd need to design new ones from scratch. Trying to keep a soldier with a rifle alive and fighting in that environment would be a nightmare.

Instead, we'll send up a simple guidance computer...and a whole lot of nuclear bombs.

Let's talk rough numbers.

We'll take the US W76 thermonuclear warhead as a baseline. I'm using this weapon because we know the exact weight of the warhead, whereas with other weapons like the W87 details like the weight of the warhead are uncertain.

If we were firing these weapons at a target on the moon, we likely would dispense with most of the reentry casing, since there would be no need to penetrate a thick atmosphere before detonation; that's why we want the weight of the warhead.

A W76 weighs in at 164 kg, and has a yield of 100 kilotons. We'll want to be able to aim these things, so we'll stick a simple solid-fuel rocket onto each warhead - let's round it up to 200 kg per bomb.

The Apollo Command/Service module, the spacecraft that made the full flight too and from the moon, massed around 14,700 kg at launch. The Lunar Excursion Module, the spacecraft that actually landed on the moon, massed 15,200 kg. Call it a combined mass of 30,000 kg going to the moon.

That's the same mass as 150 of our warheads.

Let's say that our strike craft needs around 1,000 kg for a basic guidance computer and storage rack for the bombs. That's still enough mass for 145 warheads. If we manage to build launchers into that mass as well, so we can dispense with the rockets on each bomb, we'd be looking 174 warheads.

Now, to get that kind of mass to the moon, we did need to make use of the Saturn V rocket, which is pretty much the most powerful rocket ever built. If we needed to, we could build new Saturn Vs with a fair amount of lead time - we have all the specs, but the tools and expertise used to build the originals are mostly lost to us, so we'd have to rebuild the industry used to build the rockets. They're probably not our best option.

More likely would be NASA's in-development Space Launch System, or SLS. It's designed to reproduce Apollo-era capabilities with modern hardware, carrying the Orion crew capsule to the moon and beyond. If we wanted to launch a real strike on the moon, this would be the puppy to use.

It's...complicated...to do a clear comparison of two rockets' capacity. The closest comparison would be the 'injected mass' capacity - that is, the mass including upper stages of the rocket itself that can be lifted to a given point. The Saturn V's injected mass capacity was around 154 tons; SLS will manage 173 tons. The two craft are quite comparable, so for simplicity's sake we can assume that the SLS can lift our W76 cluster to the moon.

Without knowing more about the Monster, I couldn't say whether a strike like this would be able to destroy it...but it should at the very least let it know that we're here.

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