General: Mr. President, are you suggesting we blow up the Moon?It's bad enough when some bad guy tries to put his John Hancock on the Moon; things get really serious when it's destroyed. This happens in many continuities in many shows many times. Think of an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, only on the Moon. A sister trope to Deface of the Moon. Compare with Grasp the Sun for a symbolic use of celestial bodies. Expect there to be No Endor Holocaust. If the destruction of the moon does result in serious damage to Earth or nearby planets it may overlap with Colony Drop, especially if done on purpose. Sometimes results in a Shattered World. Something that is only occasionally referenced is that a satellite body does affect the surface of the parent object. Destroying or otherwise removing the Moon from its orbit would cause serious trouble. Punning on the 1950 SF classic Destination Moon.
The President: ...Would you miss it?
The President: ...Would you miss it?
open/close all folders
- In the manga of AKIRA, Tetsuo teleports to the moon and blasts a huge hole in it, then shapes the resulting debris into a ring around the moon. The damage alters the tides on Earth.
- The moon in Assassination Classroom is always a crescent, with the overly long horns nearly touching each other. It's as if someone's taken out a large chunk of it, because it is; Koro-sensei blew up 70% of the moon in the beginning, making it a permanent crescent.
- In the epilogue, the crescent Moon collapses due to gravity and becomes closer to Earth, eventually reforming into the size and shape prior to the explosion.
- Aldnoah.Zero had this happen to the Earth in the middle of a war between Earth and Mars. A gate on the Moon that allowed travel to Mars (sparking a colonization effort that later declared independence with then led to a war) exploded, destroying half the moon and sending large numbers of shards raining down on Earth, killing millions and drastically altering the landscape, as well as leaving a ring of asteroids in Earth's orbit. This event is known in the show as Heaven's Fall.
- Cowboy Bebop has this as a background event, where the damage to the moon◊ in a gate research accident killed the bulk of humanity and drove most of the rest to colonize the Solar System. Earth itself is largely a wasteland now, meaning No Endor Holocaust is largely averted here: The initial shockwave devastated the portion of Earth facing the moon and debris continues to rain down on the damaged landscape. Meteor showers are treated like a weather event by the survivors who live in underground bunkers. The surface can't even be mapped due to the constant creation of new impact craters.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Piccolo destroying the moon to stop Gohan from rampaging as a giant ape (the moon is the giant ape form's power source).
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged parodies Piccolo's moon destruction via a news report detailing an estimated death toll of over 100 million due to the lack of moon to regulate the tides, not to mention all waterbenders losing their power and Sailor Moon being in horrible agony.
- Master Roshi also blew up the moon in Dragon Ball before it was put back into place some years later. He got yelled at afterwards, but he, like Piccolo only did it to stop a giant monkey attack (it was restored by Kami between those two times on the condition that Goku had his tail removed).
- Piccolo destroying the moon to stop Gohan from rampaging as a giant ape (the moon is the giant ape form's power source).
- This happens some times in Dr. Slump, it being a gag manga with no realism at all. Usually it's Arale who destroys the Moon with her Super Strength, by chucking boulders at it. Afterwards we see the Moon all patched up, like a broken vase.
- In Fairy Tail, a village asks the heroes to destroy the moon, which has turned purple and started turning the villagers into demons at night. Subverted, as they only had to remove the aftermath of a ritual that took place on the island, which made the moon look purple and messed with the memories of the villagers, who really were demons to begin with.
- Happens in Gundam Build Fighters Try when Sekai uses an attack so powerful that it straight up splits the moon in half... even if he used it on Earth. Of course, the moon in this case is a virtual moon generated by the system used for Gunpla battles, it still serves to highlight Sekai's potential as a Gunpla fighter.
- In the final episodes of Jewelpet Sunshine, one of Jewel Land's two moons is partially destroyed by Jewelina under the Dark Magic's influence.
- Medaka Box: Medaka does this to prevent the moon from crashing into the Earth, by herself. How she manages to do it is never explained. Unless "she's Medaka" is considered sufficient explanation.
- In The Last: Naruto the Movie, the final battle takes place on the surface of the moon, which is falling slowly towards Earth (and most of the film took place inside it, as it's a Hollow World). During the battle, Naruto's opponent Toneri unleashes the power of his Tenseigan, cutting the moon in half. It's mostly subverted, though, as rather than shattering or falling apart, the moon somehow manages to hold together.
- Origin: Spirits of the Past uses this trope, though instead of the moon being completely destroyed it's just split into tree.
- In Ouran High School Host Club, this is shown going on inside Tamaki's head in Episode 23 as a metaphor for his Berserk Button of Haruhi being pursued by another guy, the unsuspecting Kasanoda.
- A test of the Von Braun's Tandem Mirror engine in Planetes reduced a significant area of the Moon into dust. Judging from the artwork, the damage covered a region larger than the state of California.
- The Sonic X adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2 also shows the moon getting blown up, though while the games never explain how the moon presumably gets fixed, in Sonic X Eggman fixes it himself, dubbing it the "Eggmoon". He then uses the repaired moon to try and block out the sun.
- In Space Battleship Yamato, the Comet Empire, after defeating Earth's space navy, puts the cherry on its sundae of conquest by destroying the moon.
- Z does this in Tenchi Muyo!, after he destroyed half the earth, for no other purpose than getting Tenchi's attention. Like the majority of the events in the third OVA, this is subjected to a Reset Button.
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Anti-Spiral uses the moon to attempt to destroy the earth, causing the Gurren Brigade to attempt to destroy the moon. Notable in that the otherwise VERY soft sci-fi makes it abundantly clear that the approach of the moon and it's removal would have a negative effect on the planet (In the end, the descent can be stopped and the moon is revealed to be a giant spacecraft named "Cathedral Terra". The spacecraft is repossessed by the heroes and the real moon is pulled out of a Pocket Dimension to avoid damage to the Earth).
- In Yatterman Night, Dokurobei manages to blow up the moon during an attack on Dekkaido. A ring of debris from the detonation is all that remains of it now, save the giant ominous skull.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yugi has one of his monsters stab the moon to destroy it. Yes, it was a moon generated by another card and not the actual moon, but it still has the tide-changing effects...and it wasn't a monster card so he shouldn't have been able to attack it.note
- There is now a real-life card that references this scene - and allows a player to reenact it in the right circumstances.
- In Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, the moon was destroyed 108 years before the start of the story, causing chunks of it to fall towards Earth frequently.
- In Symphogear, Fine attempts to destroy the moon with an enormous cannon, but it is deflected and only knocks off a chunk. The heroes then blow up the chunk, giving the moon a ring for the rest of the series.
- The Doctor Who comic strip "The Love Invasion" featured an alien who intended to improve the lives of the human race and his (in the long run) with the first item on his agenda being "destroy the moon". He nearly goes through with it.
- The moon gets destroyed in the "Five Years Later" period of Legion of Super-Heroes. In this case there is an Endor Holocaust, with lunar fragments being a serious threat to Earth for some time afterwards (until Earth got destroyed as well).
- The moon of the planet Sakaar (from Planet Hulk) is broken into pieces. By the end of the storyline, the same thing happens to Sakaar.
- In a What If? story about the Avengers' enemy Korvac, Korvac and the Stranger become involved in a shoving match, with the moon itself as the object being shoved. The moon, behaving at least somewhat according to the laws of physics, gets ripped to shreds by tidal forces and forms a debris ring around the Earth. There is No Endor Holocaust, but it doesn't matter because Korvac ends the universe with the Ultimate Nullifier.
- In I Hate Fairyland, Gert kills the sentient moon narrator by shooting him with a cannon. She then kills the stars to avoid any witnesses.
- Conquest: During the battle between the Imperial and Federation fleets over Earth, the Eclipse-class super star destroyer "Obliterator" uses its spinal superlaser to destroy the Moon along with its several hundred million inhabitants.
- In a supplementary blog for The Empress Returns (sequel to The God Empress of Ponykind), the Blood Angels and their allies loaded a moon full of doomsday weaponry before ramming it into Hive Fleet Leviathan, destroying the Tyranid synapse ships and saving Baal from being consumed.
- Shinji And Warhammer 40 K: In the final arc, Kaworu blows up a chunk of the Moon in order to try to destroy an Eldritch Abomination. Many people wonders whether humankind is definitely and inescapably screwed or it is not as bad as it looks. Fortunately it looks like the debris is floating away Earth.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- The Moon inexplicably combusts in Amazon Women on the Moon, with a small piece continuing to dangle from a wire, after the first astronauts to visit it incur the wrath of the Amazons living there.
- Flash Gordon: Ming pokes the moon out of orbit so it is sent on a collision course with Earth.
- Man of Steel: In one of the scenery shots of Krypton, you can see its moon partially blown up.
- This is a Continuity Nod to the Silver Age comics' justification for Krypton having forbidden rocketry. Krypton's principal moon, Wegthor, had their first space colony — until scientist Jax-Ur's nuclear missile missed the meteor he was aiming at.
- A torn-apart moon is a constant sight during night sequences in Oblivion (2013) . Malcolm Beech reminisces when it was blown apart to cripple the human race pre-invasion.
- In Star Trek Into Darkness, one of the moons of the Klingon homeworld (Praxis) has apparently blown up; interestingly, in this timeline this seems to have happened 30 years before the event in the Prime universe, where it was a major plot point in Star Trek VI and was the event that paved the way for the end of formal hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire in the TNG-era.
- One could infer this was due to the Klingon's having studied the Narada from the previous film during the 25 years they held Nero and his crew prisoner. Presumably, by studying the technology of the mining ship, the Klingons inadvertently accelerated the accident that lead to the destruction of the moon in the Prime-verse, which was caused by over-mining.
- The 2002 remake of The Time Machine features a sub-plot about colonizing the moon in the 2030s which goes horribly wrong and ends up with the moon being blown to pieces. Some genius decided that using nuclear weapons to dig caverns beneath the surface was a good idea. It causes a bit of an armageddon. The moon's still there but much closer to earth and totally fractured. Bits and pieces have settled into orbit or hit the Earth. When the time traveller later emerges in 802701, the smaller chunks of the moon have been pulled apart and stretched into a mini asteroid belt.
- In The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Professor Sherman Klump dreams that he accidentally planted a nuclear weapon on the Moon instead of on an asteroid heading for Earth.
Sherman: Oh no! I done blowed up the wrong one!
- The novel Die dunkle Seite des Mondes (The Dark Side of the Moon) of the Charity series by Wolfgang Hohlbein ends with the Moon being shattered by a massive hyperspace wave, as a result of something that was done in one of the previous novels in the series. Considering the wave was about to do the same to Earth, the destruction of the Moon is considerably more preferable. One of the characters mentions that humans will have to learn to live without the tides, while another character points out that the tides will still be there, as the main mass of the moon is still in orbit.
- Happens offscreen between the first and second Empire from the Ashes books. Fortunately, it is replaced with a gravity generator to avoid problems with tides.
- In Incarceron, it's mentioned that the Years of Rage have taken their toll on the moon. It still appears to be in orbit, but its innards have been hollowed and its face is pockmarked, effectively killing the tides.
- In the novel Moonfall by Jack McDevitt the moon is smashed into itty-bitty bits by a mysterious giant comet just days after a commercial moonbase has been built there.
- In Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, it is stated that when, on the World Half Empty Moon, the people's wickedness is complete, it will be shattered.
- The Cthulhu Mythos short story "Remnants" by Fred Chappell has the Old Ones destroying and re-engineering the Moon into a giant five-pointed star for their own arcane purposes.
- Nightside: In the Bad Future seen in the first book, the moon is gone. When he time-travels to said Bad Future in Sharper, John witnesses the Nightside's demise in transit, including how it shatters and rains down over the already-devastated city.
- Neal Stephenson's Seveneves begins with the sentence "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." The remainder of the book is about dealing with the disasters that result.
- The Army of Mars nuked the moon in Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan
- In Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, Romulan admiral Mendak tries to sabotage the free Reman settlement on Klorgat IV by blowing up one of the planet's moons.
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, at one point a prototype Death Star aims at the planet Kessel, misses, and blows up its moon instead. Mako Spince was expelled from the Imperial Military Academy when he attempted to blow the Imperial seal off one of Carida's moons as a joke but used too much antimatter.
- In one of Stephen Baxter's more nonsensical stories, the US government executes "operation Sunday Punch" to blow a huge chunk out of the moon, in order to intimidate the other nations of the world. It doesn't end well.
- In The Expanse novel Leviathan Wakes the UN Navy blows up Deimos at the start of the siege of Mars, the debris poses a long-lasting navigation hazard and rains down on some of the domed cities. Later, a Martian ship nukes Protomolecule-infested Phoebe into rubble and sends the rubble on a course into Saturn.
Live Action TV
- In the cartoon segments of The Aquabats! Super Show!, the moon blows up after the Aquabats succeed at rescuing Jimmy from a collapsing underwater city beneath the moon's surface.
- On The Big Bang Theory The guys are bouncing a laser off the moon to see if it's viewable from Earth and Penny's dim-witted date is worried the moon will blow up. Leonard reassures him that they set the laser to stun.
- Doctor Who discusses it extensively in the Series 8 episode "Kill the Moon". Strange happenings on the moon (fault lines enlarging, a sudden but inexplicable increase in mass, and resulting disastrous effects on Earth tides) causes humanity to launch a mission to blow up the moon with a bunch of nukes. By the end of the episode, they discover that the moon is actually an egg that's about to hatch, and they subvert the trope by stopping the countdown at the last second. Then played with even further—the newborn... thing... immediately lays a new Moon-egg, which explains why we still have a moon in episodes that take place further into the future.
- From the TV-series version of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, a description of the songs of the rock group Disaster Area:
"[They] are, on the whole, very simple and usually follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
- On Mr. Show, America inexplicably decides to blow up the moon and is met with huge approval, with people writing patriotic country songs and throwing parties in honor of the event. When Galileo, the monkey assigned to guide the missile that will blow up the moon asks (via sign language) why they're doing it, America erupts into outrage, until Galileo is fired and replaced with Mr. Wiggles, a monkey that doesn't know sign language, and the destruction of the moon goes through as planned.
- Inverted in Space: 1999 where the Moon gets blasted into space but survives more or less intact, but the Earth suffers devastating effects from the loss of their tide-control device.
- In a later episode it's revealed that the Earth survived, but humanity screwed the environment anyway.
- The ABC Family dramady, Three Moons Over Milford, in which the moon was shattered into three pieces by an asteroid, leaving people uncertain about the future of life on Earth.
- The TV series of The Expanse portrays the destruction of Phoebe as a last-minute attempt to keep Earth from getting the Protomolecule, as in both Mars and Earth had marines en route when the missiles were launched. Deimos is destroyed shortly afterwards as reprisal.
- Gunpowder Tim, Master-at-Arms of The Mechanisms, was found by the crew floating in the midst of the shattered remains of the Moon, his eyes burned out by the blaze of the explosion. As revealed in Gunpowder Tim vs the Moon Kaiser, he was entirely responsible.
- Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey begins with General Yagov threatening to destroy the Moon unless his demands are met.
- In Hc Svnt Dracones Deimos was accidentally eaten by MarsCo's orbital construction Geomats, the computers had labelled it "flotsam" and no one caught it until it was too late. They constructed a BlueSky station in memoriam of the small moon in the wake of the PR disaster, but many still wonder if it was really an accident. Earth's moon, on the other hand was the site of an observation base keeping an eye on the new ecosystem developing on the planet that had been nuked to sterilization a few centuries earlier, then one of the expeditions brought something back and the entire rock is covered with what looks like crystallized blood.
- Deserves special mention in City of Heroes, cause while most examples on the video-game list are just creative licensing to show power, in City of Heroes Big Bad Lord Recluse actually does it. No-name villain, Darrin Wade, kills Big Good, Statesman, then flies to the moon to become a god, Lord Recluse's retort: He launches one of his nuclear war-heads at the moon then takes a rocket up there to finish the job himself. Scary part is he has more of those warheads and nothing left to lose...
- In Lost Episode 2 of Asura's Wrath, Oni Punches Mantra Asura so hard the moon splits in half, and they start blowing up more of it as they start fighting more.
- In BlazBlue, Makoto Nanaya's Astral Finish ends with her uppercutting her opponent into the sky. The force of the punch makes him hit the moon and shatter it.
- Zetta's Zetta Beeeam Neo attack in Disgaea 4 causes the Netherworld's moon and the asteroid belt near it to detonate in a glorious screen-filling explosion with every use.
- The poor moon can't catch a break in Disgaea 5, either, where the number of moon-destroying attacks has increased drastically. Even some of the less impressive units like the Rabbit and Eryngya blow it to smithereens with their final attack.
- Endless Space has the Sophons; a species of bungling scientists who have somehow managed to blow up their moon in their quest for new discoveries.
- The end of Kirby's Adventure sees the pink guy fly after Nightmare, eventually ending up on the moon's surface. Before the battle, the moon is whole; after the battle, it becomes permanently crescent, which is retained for every subsequent game in the series.
- In Nazi Zombies Black Ops 3 map Der Eisendrach Easter Egg mission ends with Origins gang detonating the Moon with Element 115 missles to destory Griffon Station, the moon base for Group 935.
- In Paladins, the moon appears to have been blown apart. How it got that way is unknown.
- In Rogue Trip you can use a teleporter on the flying saucer level to warp to the moon. If you placed a remote bomb at the crashed saucer and blew it up from the moon, the earth would explode, shortly followed by a hail of flaming rocks that destroys the moon and kills you. And all that for a cheap vacation.
- In Shattered Horizon, a mining accident on the moon has caused billions of tons of rocky debris and mining equipment to be thrown out in orbit around earth, essentially leaving a huge hole in the moon, as well as a ring of rocks and debris around the earth.
- In Skies of Arcadia, the six Moons bombarding the planet with meteors plays an important role in the game's backstory. More ridiculously, there's an Limit Break that allows you to smash one of them into the enemy... naturally, this is ignored once the battle's over.
- In Sonic Adventure 2, Eggman blows up half of the moon with the Eclipse Cannon to show the world he's not messing around when he announces he's conquering the world. The missile blows off part of the moon, revealing a molten core and apparently having no influence on the planet's oceans.
- Fans have all sorts of theories why the moon seems none the worse for the wear in all following games, including one where the final battle happens on the surface and the Sonic universe having a multiple moons for every time there's a visible moon.
- According to Word of God, the Moon is still broken, it's just always facing the other way when we see it. Unfortunately, that still doesn't quite make sense due to the moon's orbit making it always face the same way towards Earth.
- And then it shows as broken again when the plot for the game after that, Shadow the Hedgehog, needs to continue dealing with said Kill Sat.
- While it doesn't happen in-game in Team Fortress 2, Saxton Hale accidentally blows up the moon in the non-canon Mac update comic. Using an Apple product called iBlewUpTheMoon.
- A version of this happens in The Legend of Dragoon after destroying the final boss, although it technically isn't a moon, It's the unborn god of destruction. First it's shown collapsing in on itself into nothingness, followed by a brief pause, followed by a massive explosion that engulfs the tree that literally created life. Did we mention how big the tree was?
- In Touhou Soccer, one of Youmu Konpaku's better shots has her completely ignore the ball, fly up into the air, and to one side of the moon. She then slices the Japanese characters for her shot into the moon, and then SLICE IT IN HALF. Explosion and everything. She then apparently remembers the ball, and comes down and whacks the ball with her sword. The soccer ball, to its credit, handles a slash that cleaved the moon in two very well, as it may well be Made of Indestructium .
- Happens with every casting of Fei's Big Bang spell in Xeno Gears. Also an example of Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke.
- In Stellaris, one Fallen Empire's homeworld is orbited by a moon with a chunk blown out of it, which they call "The Mistake."
- In Darths & Droids, Naboo's moon is destroyed in order to interfere with the Gungans' battle tactics.
- In the distant past of Drowtales the wars between the elves managed to damage one of the nine moons resulting in a large piece impacting the surface and creating the Underworld where the elves eventually fled once they had wrecked the surface too much to survive.
- In Homestuck, Jack Noir does this to Prospit's (inhabited) moon. Technically, he only broke the chain connecting it to Prospit and crashed it into Skaia, but the idea is the same.
- Richard managed this in Looking for Group while trying to extinguish a burning village. He wanted a high five afterward.
- Real Life Comics questions if NASA only wanted pictures when crashing things into the moon.
- Another example of a different moon, the UNS of Schlock Mercenary accidentally broke Io while strip mining it. The nickel-iron core popped out and crashed into Jupiter, hence the saying "not for all the nickels in Jupiter".
- Suggested by A Softer World as a solution for Teen Pregnancy. Among other things.
Many problems. One solution.
- Not our moon, but in Vexxarr the test firing of the Zorp cannon destroyed Deimos.
- This Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a scientist pretends he wants to explode Mars to get some funding.
- Soul Symphony: The moon in Olivia's Soul World appears to be permanently crescent because a majority of it actually exploded.
- The now-defunct Citizens' Association to Blow Up the Moon. CABUM
- In Colour My Dreams, you need to do this after solving a puzzle to get past the endless hallway.
- Frank J. Fleming of the blog IMAO, advocates the United States Nuking the Moon to convince other coutries that the U.S. is crazy and not to be messed with.
- RWBY: Remnant's moon is only half-intact, the other half shattered into a dense field of debris. It hasn't been explained just what happened to make the moon that way, especially since Remnant's civilizations lack any kind of space technology, making them rather unlikely to be the culprits.
- Tech Infantry has the Moon blown up in order to have the broken pieces rain down upon the Earth and make in uninhabitable.
- In Death Battle, Thor launches Wonder Woman all the way to the moon, then throws Mjolnir after her. Wonder Woman tanks the impact with her bracelets, and the resulting shockwave blows the moon to pieces.
- Almost happens in Avatar: The Last Airbender, when Zhao plots to kill the moon spirit. It's not clear if the moon was physically destroyed/wiped from existence, but at the very least he got it to stop reflecting light. Somewhat averts No Endor Holocaust in that they make it clear the moon's death would be a very bad thing. As it stands, however, all it did was force a Heroic Sacrifice to fix the moon and create one very pissed off ocean spirit kaiju.
- In Beast Wars, the planet the Maximals and Predacons land on has two moons. At the end of season 1, one of them turns out to be an alien Kill Sat, which Optimus Primal ends up destroying by Heroic Sacrifice.
- The revelation that the planet only has one natural moon tips off Dinobot that they hadn't come to the wrong place after all, the planet was Earth.
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: "Wirewolf" Booster and Mira flew Star Cruister 42 into the moon, blowing it up so as to revert Wirewolf back to Ty Parsec.
- Aliens destroyed the moon in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and repaired it with their armpit cheese.
- Home Movies features a song that repeatedly demands the listener blow up the moon, though it never actually happens.
- In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Haredevil Hare," Marvin the Martian attempts to blow up the Earth from the Moon, but ends up blowing the Moon in half instead, leaving only a crumbling crescent.
- Non-explosive version: in the Tex Avery cartoon "Billy Boy", the titular billy goat ends up eating the entire moon.
- Coop once blew up part of the moon in Megas XLR "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Coop", which caused major climate change (a subversion of No Endor Holocaust). When asked if he was concerned about this, he replied, "What does that have to do with bubblegum ice cream?" Kiva made him fix it in the credits. The episode basically told you from the start what was going to happen: in Kiva's time, the moon has a lot less mass.
- The Grand Finale of Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends opens with a shot of the Shedoan fleet blowing up the moon and uses the Eiffel Tower Effect several times over to demonstrate in minute detail exactly how much destruction blowing up the moon actually causes. The whole thing is soon revealed to be a simulation, though they still plan on blowing up the moon.
- Thundarr the Barbarian: In the Opening Narration a rogue planet passes between the Earth and the Moon, and its gravitational field cracks the latter in half, like a walnut. This doesn't affect its orbit in the slightest, but it does end human civilization. The shattered remnants of the moon can be occasionally seen in the night sky during episodes.
- Project A119. The US during the Cold War had a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon during the 1950's. Officially called the much less insane-sounding "A Study of Lunar Research Flights". Cancelled in lieu of a better idea of landing a ship there instead.
- The rings orbiting the planet Saturn may have formed when a moon orbiting it broke up either by straying too close to its parent planet or was destroyed in a collision with another moon.
- Uranus' moon Miranda has bizarre terrain and it was once thought that long ago it was completely shattered has since reformed. This theory is no longer considered credible. Current thinking is that Miranda once had a subsurface ocean like Europa and Enceladus are thought to, but the whole thing froze and warped the surface.
- Some planets may eventually lose their moons billions of years from now. Because it is orbiting the Red Planet faster than that planet can spin, the Martian moon Phobos may eventually collide with Mars, and it is widely believed that it will not be the first moon Mars has lost this way; and even though the Moon is actually moving away from the Earth until it slows down so much that it it literally stuck above one side of our planet permanently, the dying and expanding Sun will eventually cause the Moon to spiral back toward Earth, causing it to shatter and collide with our own planetnote (ironically, this was also how our Moon was born).
- Triton, Neptune's largest moon, is spiraling towards its host planet, and will eventually enter the planet's Roche Limit in about 3.6 billion years. Once this happens, Triton will actually disintegrate because of Neptune's tidal forces; Triton will become a huge set of visible rings around Neptune (Triton out-masses Saturn's rings several hundred times over).
- The US Air Force once came *this* close to doing this during the Cold War... as an intimidation tactic. Lucklily, they didn't go through with it.