VERACIOUS TIDINGS: Good evening. Let's get right to our top story: the breakup of the Moon. Here's Luna Buzz, our chief investigative correspondent.
LUNA BUZZ: Veracious, China has been sending manned rockets to the Moon since 2018. As you remember, a group of settlers died mysteriously later that year. The Chinese subsequently discovered that their food was contaminated with melamine, resulting in everyone being poisoned. You'll remember that melamine was the industrial chemical that was found in baby milk, with many Chinese children dying as a result, in the second half of the previous decade.
Then they discovered that the building materials were contaminated with sulfur, benzene, and a few other noxious chemicals. The settlers were forced to live in a pure oxygen environment to compensate for the noxious fumes.
China never confirmed it, but experts suspected that China was drilling many, deep holes for mining. It was clear from orbital analysis of the returning rockets that something heavy was being carried back to Earth. The Moon is a rich source of helium-3, essential for nuclear fusion and fourth-generation nuclear weapons and we suspect that is what China was mining.
It appears that a spark was generated somewhere. This caused a fire, and in a pure oxygen atmosphere, a fire is explosive, as we learned with the tragedy with Apollo 1 in January 1967. The fire quickly spread to all buildings, killing most of the settlers.
However, the fire kept spreading, even beyond the walls of the buildings. We are only speculating based on images taken of the moon by the James Webb Space Telescope, but it appears that China had manufactured either fertilizer or explosives in liquid form. As Tim McVeigh showed us, fertilizers and explosives are often flip sides of the same coin. These liquids were very dense and they spread slowly to the buildings housing the nuclear reactors.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: How many nuclear reactors were there?
LUNA BUZZ: Only three, but these settlements were all interconnected by long tubes, passageways, in a triangle pattern. Allowing the settlers to work without space suits drastically increased their productivity. The burning liquids eventually ate through the walls and caused the nuclear power plants to explode.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: I thought nuclear reactors were designed not to result in a nuclear explosion?
LUNA BUZZ: These explosions were not nuclear ones, only conventional ones. Experts believe that the explosions were part of the breakup of the reactors. And the design did not include a containment building, so the reactor cores melted through the floor a few meters down into the surface of the moon.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: The China Syndrome!
LUNA BUZZ: Exactly. Enormous cracks caused by the explosions were then filled with the burning liquids. The fires caused the cracks to expand.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: How could the liquid burn on the moon with no oxygen?
LUNA BUZZ: This is what makes experts suspect that the liquid was an explosive of some kind. Just like underwater demolition requires explosives to be formulated with oxygen in them, these liquids obviously contained sufficient oxygen to burn.
Then something we do not understand at all happened. Below a number of the buildings, massive explosions occurred. Experts believe these were caused by enormous hydrogen bombs.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: I thought you said the reactors could not explode!
LUNA BUZZ: Experts believe these were nuclear weapons stored on the moon for purposes as of yet unknown. Perhaps the usual safeties were disabled by the fire -- or perhaps they never had any safeties. Nuclear weapons all contain conventional explosives to start the chain reaction and those explosives can be triggered via intense heat.
To give the Chinese the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that they had stored hydrogen bombs for use against comets or asteroids. However, it is equally possible the bombs were stored for use against satellites and/or spacecraft of other countries, similar to how the Soviets were going to use the space platform seen in the movie Space Cowboys.
The massive explosions cracked some of the Moon. The Moon's lack of an atmosphere allowed the Sun to add to the fracturing by means of direct heating, and then as the Moon rotated in orbit, the dark side cooled rapidly to absolute zero, causing more stress fractures via thermal cycling. Eventually the cracks ran through enough of the Moon -- keep in mind that the numerous mines also contributed to the cracking -- to allow gravitational and orbital forces to split it in many pieces.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: Is there any danger to Earth, the Space Station, or satellites?
LUNA BUZZ: No, the laws of physics ensures that the Moon fragments will remain in the original orbit, much like Saturn's rings. But their erratic spin precludes any further attempt at colonization, or even prospecting. Anyone left alive on the Moon fragments is doomed to certain death because rescue is impossible. And the effect on Earth's tides will be immense. Severe tides as seen at places like the Bay of Fundy are a thing of the past. There is a good possibility of future collisions between the pieces, guaranteeing that the spectacle will be closely monitored by both scientists and amateur astronomers.
VERACIOUS TIDINGS: The moon is a harsh mistress. Rather, was. Thanks, Luna.
We'll be right back.