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A now-defunct US government program developed a proposal to tunnel through the Moon using nuclear weapons in a search for “lightweight metals”, new documents reveal.
The papers were obtained from the Department of Defence’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP) by VICE, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The secretive program ran from 2007 to 2012 and spent millions on researching experimental technologies such as invisibility cloaks, traversable wormholes, warp drives, and anti-gravity devices.

The earth's shadow covers the full moon during a partial lunar eclipse, Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A now-defunct US government program drafted a proposal to mine the Moon with nuclear weapons. (AP)

Buried among 1600 pages of reports, proposals, contracts and meeting notes was a explosive plan to mine the moon.

In the report on “negative mass propulsion,” authors suggested extremely lightweight metals may be found inside the heart of the celestial body.

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They claimed these may be “100,000 times lighter than steel, but still (have) the strength of steel”.

To reach the centre, the authors proposed blasting a tunnel through the lunar crust and mantle using thermonuclear explosives.

The existence of the AATIP was first revealed by the New York Times in 2017 upon director Luis Elizondo’s resignation.

Later that year the former Pentagon official went public about reports of UFOs.

While AATIP’s moon proposal was not greenlit, space agency NASA is moving forward with plans to mine the space rock.

Earth's moon
The proposal suggested ‘lightweight metals’ were located at the centre of the Moon. (iStock)

It’s believed “the Moon holds hundreds of billions of dollars of untapped resources”.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter in 2020 the agency “is buying lunar soil from a commercial provider”.

“It’s time to establish the regulatory certainty to extract and trade space resources,” he wrote.

View of Earth from Apollo 8 over the Moon (Getty)
A view of Earth from Apollo 8 over the Moon. (Getty)

“We are putting our policies into practice to fuel a new era of exploration and discovery that will benefit all of humanity,” Mr Bridenstine said.

The tweet marked one giant leap for the space agency’s Artemis missions, which plans to return humans to the Moon by by 2025.

With Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon, and seek to set up a permanent base there.

This is the first time humankind will return to the Moon since the Apollo missions.

Source: 9News

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