The “rods” had been to be 20 ft lengthy, and one foot in diameter. When dropped from orbit, the 24,000-pound rods would attain “hypersonic” speeds approaching Mach 10 earlier than influence. Whereas a Lazy Canine would possibly 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” could be mechanically easy whereas being just about inconceivable to defend in opposition to. In contrast to nuclear weapons, nevertheless, they’d create no harmful fallout.
So why weren’t they adopted? Mockingly, regardless of their simplicity, the “rods” could be prohibitively costly. That is as a result of tungsten may be very heavy. NASA estimates that at the moment, it prices round $10,000 to place one pound of weight into orbit, that means that it could price round $240,000,000 to get a single “rod” into house. Again within the Sixties, with the rocket expertise of the time, it could have been much more costly.
Like one other Chilly Struggle weapon, Russia’s large “Tsar Bomba,” America’s “rods from God” idea by no means reached fruition through the Chilly Struggle, nevertheless it wasn’t utterly 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.