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Apropos Project A119 Wikipedia writes to say

The aim of the project was to detonate a nuclear bomb on the Moon which would help in answering some of the mysteries in planetary astronomy and astrogeology, and had the explosive device not entered into a lunar crater, the flash of explosive light would have been faintly visible to people on earth with their naked eye,

One's attention is drawn to the grammar in the opening paragraph quoted above

had the explosive device not entered into a lunar crater, the flash of explosive light would have been faintly visible to people on earth with their naked eye

The same article goes on to state

Neither the Soviet nor the US Project A119 were ever carried out,

Was a nuclear device detonated over Earth's Moon?

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't the Wikipedia article completely answer your question (it was not)? $\endgroup$ – gerrit Oct 24 '13 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ @gerrit That mention in the opening paragraph of the device disappearing into a lunar crater is what piques my curiosity. $\endgroup$ – Everyone Oct 24 '13 at 10:12
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The grammar is a bit convoluted, because it's a nesting of two conditions.

  1. If the project had been carried out
  2. the explosion would only be visible if the explosive device is not detonated inside a lunar crater.

If condition 1 is false, then condition 2 is never tested. The sentence

Neither the Soviet nor the US Project A119 were ever carried out

unequivocally states that condition 1 is false.

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