If the Cold War was nothing more than a pissing contest between two superpowers, the United States was this close to being “that guy” who burns the bar to the ground just to prove that he’ll go there. In 1958, America was hatching out Project A119, a “top-secret plan… to look at the possibility of detonating a nuclear device on the moon.”
Per the CNN:
“People were worried very much by (first human in space Soviet cosmonaut Yuri) Gagarin and Sputnik and the very great accomplishments of the Soviet Union in those days, and in comparison, the United States was feared to be looking puny. So this was a concept to sort of reassure people that the United States could maintain a mutually-assured deterrence, and therefore avoid any huge conflagration on the Earth,” said physicist Leonard Reiffel, who led the project.”
What better way to reassure a nation than by blowing up a celestial body? The only problem I see with this idea is that it would kill off all of the Mooninites. That would suck.