Monday, August 31, 2015
Nobska & Polaris.
Referring to that previous blog entry:
Steiner said... "That would be hydrazine or some variant thereof. Soviet SLBMs were liquid-fuelled because for once the Communists were unable to steal American solid-fuel technology"
American naval military planners at one time too having considered the use of liquid-fuel missiles for submarines.
The Jupiter thought to be do-able and feasible and needed for the larger size thermonuclear warheads then in existence.
American nuclear physicists and scientists however able to develop a "small" thermonuclear warhead.
The Soviet counter-part physicist evidently unable to develop the "small" thermonuclear warhead.
Such was the confidence in the ability of the American nuclear physicist the Polaris solid-fuel submarine launched ballistic missile having then gotten the approval as the way to go.
And the rest is history!! See this many decades ago newsreel footage of a Polaris being fired from a submerged submarine: "1960-07-21 First Polaris Firing By Submerged U-Boat"
"An important milestone in the Polaris missile program was inadvertently achieved at Nobska [Project Nobska]. In the course of discussing how a nuclear warhead could be made small enough for the Mark 45 torpedo, Edward Teller of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory started a discussion on the possibility of developing a physically small one-megaton nuclear warhead for the Polaris missile. His counterpart in the discussion, J. Carson Mark of Los Alamos National Laboratory, at first insisted it could not be done. However, Dr. Mark eventually stated that a half-megaton warhead of small enough size could be developed. This yield, roughly thirty times that of the Hiroshima bomb, was enough . . . and Navy strategic missile development shifted from Jupiter to Polaris by the end of the year. Within five years regular Polaris deterrent patrols were in progress."
We should consider ourselves fortunate that American physicists were able to develop a "small" thermonuclear warhead?