New answers tagged

17

I am NOT (not, not not) fluent in celestial mechanics, so if I'm wrong, let me know and I'll delete this answer. But... Our favorite supervillain, Gru, has asked his most trusted scientist, Dr. Nefario, to build him a black hole gun! From Wikipedia we find... $$t_{ev} \approx 2.1\times10^{67}\left(\frac{M}{M_{\odot}}\right)^3\;\text{years} = 6.623\times10^{...


0

Sun Gun! Sun Gun has a lifetime membership to the orbital weapons club! https://www.damninteresting.com/the-third-reichs-diabolical-orbiting-superweapon/ What interested the Nazi scientists, however, was his suggestion that a specially engineered 100-meter-wide concave mirror could be used to reflect sunlight into a concentrated point on the Earth. But ...


0

Cyber weapons. No need to resort to physical weapons in this situation. A concerted cyber attack should be able to bring any advanced civilisation to its knees without necessarily killing anyone or destroying anything; and that surely work in advance civilisation would be aiming to do with salt force


1

Most plausible near-future weapon systems to wage war from orbit: Nukes delivered in ballistic missiles Against: City or large military/industrial complex Simple High yield Ballistic missiles with conventional explosive payload Target: Small military base/factory Proven technology, but a lot less cost effective than the nukes. But also less investment ...


0

Both @Dragongeek & @Mr_Bober have a useful list of ideas. Both exploit the fact that a planet attacked from space really has no "rear area": the front is above the inhabitants' heads, with nowhere truly good to run & hide at. Any such attack, with the goal of conquering a planet with minimal damage to its inhabitants, would run pretty much ...


4

Frame Challenge: Don't attack the planet. Your goal is: "the occupants stop launching anti-orbital missiles". Cool. Set yourself up in a high orbit above the planet. Hit a bunch of satellites with normal, garden variety missiles. Done. You've just set off Kessler Syndrome. The satellites you've blow up have scattered into hundreds of pieces, which ...


1

I'll write some fiction and then describe weapons. Some country or country on the planet has started the long, slow climb to becoming a K-level-1 civilization by exploiting space. Doing this in the next few decades is economically crazy (the ROI is really, really negative for a long time), so I'll assume the nation has aligned around a religious requirement ...


0

OPTION 1) Temporarily destroy the ozone layer "The ozone layer absorbs 97 to 99 percent of the Sun's medium-frequency ultraviolet light" Therefore, deploy a cloud of CFCs into the upper atmosphere. After a few weeks most of the lifeforms on the surface of the planet will begin to die due to having 30X to 100X more UV exposure. After that, deploy ...


3

Since we are talking about technology only slightly better than our current ones, I'd say explosives are exactly what you're looking for. The fact that you're shooting from orbit doesn't really matter, since you are looking for the effect on earth. Sure it would require some adjustment to the weapon delivery system, but the weapon per-se would be the same as ...


11

Broadly, there are three categories of weapons. Directed energy weapons which deliver energy to the target, kinetic weapons which deliver mass to the target, and ordinance weapons which deliver a payload to the target. Let's break it down: Energy Lasers/Masers: Laser weaponry is currently on the cusp of being integrated into the modern military. Already ...


5

Kinetic Bombardment (AKA "rods from god"): Kinetic bombardment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinetic_bombardment) takes advantage of the Earth's gravity well to drop things on people from space. Sounds simple and primitive, right? Well, much like a meteor (in fact, at it's simplest level, it IS a meteor) gravity does all the hard work and you just ...


23

Kinetic Energy Weapons The tungsten rods that you've heard about are what are generally termed 'kinetic energy weapon', or to use the slang term 'Rod from God'. Basically, you just get a really heavy metal rod (tungsten works fairly well, though there are alternatives), fire it into the atmosphere, and let kinetic energy and gravity take over from there. All ...


4

Here is a real-world report on space weapons by the RAND Corporation. They do consulting work for various US government agencies. They found that ground-based weapons are cheaper for most purposes, but then they assumed a ground-based industry. Yes, tungsten rods are a viable concept. To make them practical one would have to preposition them in orbit and ...


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