The 1950s were a magical time. The world was recovering from World War, two economies were booming, superpowers were racing into space and scientists had a new toy to play with atomic bombs. I mentioned in Monday’s, article, how Robert Bigelow used to watch the atomic bombs going off outside of Las Vegas, and he was a kid and he wasn’t alone.
The whole country was gripped with atomic fever. It was even a beauty pageant for Miss atomic bomb. The United States detonated 187 nuclear tests in the 1950s, many of them right outside of Las Vegas in the Nevada Test range and each of them looking for some type of specific data in regards to the effects of nuclear explosions and according to legend along the way They accidentally launched the first object into space, so if the idea of the United States is blowing up atomic bombs over American soil, just out in the open sounds crazy to you, it sounded pretty crazy to a lot of people back then too.
Doesn’t me wrong. A lot of them thought it was awesome, but with rising concerns about nuclear proliferation and Fallout and radiation that causes from all these atomic blasts, the United States Department of Energy started looking into underground nuclear testing.
In fact, in 1963 the limited test ban treaty pretty much put the kibosh on all above-ground testing. After that, so you know they could kind of see the writing on the wall and in 1957 they started looking into testing nuclear weapons underground.
The problem was they didn’t know what was the best protocol for underground nuclear testing? They didn’t know what the effects of underground nuclear explosions would be. I mean, would it break up the Earth’s crust? Could it put a crack all the way down to the mantle and it vertically opened up a volcano when it’s, summoned demons from the unholy depths to run roughshod over the planet? We had no way of knowing really so to test this out and figure out the best way to do underground nuclear testing.
Without summoning Beelzebub, the United States government created this program. They called Operation, plumb, bob, actually, plumb bob tested all kinds of different things, including the effects of nuclear radiation on pigs.
They actually nuked a bunch of pigs at one point, but one of the people in charge of the underground testing was an engineer named Robert Brownlee Bradley’s. Main goal was to figure out how to keep nuclear fallout underground when doing these underground tests.
So to do that, he devised a test called Pascal, which is a pretty simple thing. They basically put a hole in the ground 485 feet deep, put a nuclear weapon at the bottom and capped off the top with a steel plate.
They set that one off on July 26 of 1957 and it was a success. Robert Brenly said it looked like a giant roman candle going off and the steel plate. Surprise. Surprise did not stand up to this nuclear blast; it blew off and they never really found it.
They didn’t know what happened to it, and Brownlee became curious exactly how fast this play got blown off. So he designed a second experiment called Pascal B. This one would set up a high-speed camera literally just to record how fast this steel plate got blown off.
Does anybody else feel like this is basically Mythbusters with nuclear weapons anyway, for Pascal B Brownlee used a heavier steel plate, this one was 900 kilograms and they actually dug a little bit deeper this time about 500 feet into the ground and they use a high-speed camera That recorded one frame every millisecond just to see how fast this thing blew off because science on August 27th, they turned on the camera, hit the fuse and blew off a nuclear weapon.
Underneath this glorified manhole cover a glorified manhole cover that was never seen again. They searched the area for hundreds of miles. Looking for this steel plate never found it anywhere and when they finally looked at the film they figured out.
Why even recording only one frame, every millisecond, the steel plate only showed up in one frame and apparently only partially in that frame, as they say, and that would show this frame to you. Only I couldn’t, find it anywhere.
I don’t know if it was. Never you know, D classified or whatever, but I couldn’t find it anywhere in the Internet. If you have better Google food than me, then please pointed out in the comments, but the real bummer is cuz.
It only showed up in one frame. You can’t really get a real, accurate measure of speed if it showed up in two different frames, and you can measure the distance that it moved in that time you can calculate speed, but they didn’t have that luxury here.
So all they can do is just measure how far it would have had to have traveled to leave the frame and figure out how fast that the minimum speed must have been for it to have gone that fast and when they did that they came up with 125,000 miles an hour, or is Robert Bradley, pointed out five times the escape velocity of Earth.
In other words, the reason they never found the plate is because it went into space and just kept going, and this was two months before Sputnik went into orbit. So if the legend is true, these guys just kind of mythbuster their way into space before the Soviet Union did also of true.
This manhole cover would be the fastest human-made object of all time, that is until the Parker Solar Probe gets up to its max speed of 690 thousand kilometers an hour which is insane to think about that the Parker Solar Probe is going to be traveling three times Faster than the debris from a nuclear bomb, now that’s, the legend of Operation plumb-bob in the steel plate, which is a fascinating story that stands up to any kind of scrutiny there’s, no way that any naysayers good wait.
I’m. Sorry what well, what? Of course they did see it. Many people say that there’s, no possible way that this manhole cover actually got into space, and one of the pieces of evidence is, you know every meteorite in every piece of space debris that has ever burned up in our atmosphere.
Ever as we all know, in order for an object to stay in orbit, it has to be traveling at 28,000 kilometers an hour, or maybe you didn’t, know that exact number. But you know what’s going really fast. So when stuff falls back to earth, it always burns up in the atmosphere due to friction with the atmosphere as it’s traveling that fast and that’s traveling at one-eighth of the speed that the steel plate was traveling.
So the possibility of this 900 kilogram metal plate could soar through the thickest part of the atmosphere right down there at sea level at eight times the speed of a normal object that would cause it to vaporize and not vaporize seemed unlikely, although others have said that The initial explosion, and maybe even the initial friction going through the atmosphere, could have formed this plate into a more aerodynamic shape, which is something that’s actually done in the military.
All the time there’s, a type of weapon called an explosively formed penetrator or EFP. So in essence, they built a nuclear gun and, by the way, the idea of using a nuclear weapon as some type of propulsion is not unheard of.
There was an entire project that NASA worked on for a welcome project Orion that worked in the exact same way, but in the end, did the USB thrush in a space with a manhole cover. Probably not even Robert Brownlee has said that his initial calculations were probably a proportion like a manhole cover over a nuclear bomb.
He might say, but still there is a chance that somewhere out there floating around in our solar system, is a giant misshapen metal plate with a crazy story. To tell so I’ll toss this up to you guys. Do you think that operation plumb-bob actually put a metal plate up into space?