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Old December 21st 16, 08:09 AM posted to sci.space.history
snidely
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Default The Space Race was about Power Projection - Miles O'Brien

Monday, Stuf4 quipped:

Nuclear ICBMs are the only fielded weapon that has NEVER undergone an
end-to-end test. They are far too lethal of a weapon to do that. The
boosters have been tested, with no warhead. And the warheads have been
tested, with no booster (or short range booster). But once you set up a
booster with intercontinental range and put a nuke warhead up top and try to
launch it, ALL your adversaries around the planet will have no idea of the
actual destination of that rocket, so an easy assumption would be that it was
headed for their land, and that they would need to retaliate immediately.

By simply *testing* a full-up ICBM, you would be starting a war.

JFK was explaining to James Webb that this was the way we test the system
without starting a war.


But the launch sequence for a manned space flight is very different
from that of a missile launch, even for Gemini (where an ICBM booster
was used). The process of aiming was very different, even if you were
using the same inertial guidance units. Doesn't seem like a very
effective test to me.

I won't disagree that dick-waving was involved, but at least we got
moon rocks out of it.

/dps

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