Russia still considers blowing asteroids with nukes

It seems that non-conventional way of solving any problems is still strong in Russian scientific environment.

Recently we could read about potential proposition from Europe to Russian scientists to develop nuclear weapon against asteroids. Problem of early warning was seriously spotted by authorities around the world after Chelyabinsk disaster in 2013. NASA had initiative and formed recently Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) which would be devoted only to early warning against asteroids. Russian are going to step forward and still are seriously considering of using nuclear weapon against NEO. Now, according to TASS, we are informed that idea is not science-fiction and leader researcher of the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau Sabit Saitgarayev stated that there is an idea to convert ICBM rockets with nuclear warheads to real anti-NEO weapon. No type of ICBM was mentioned, but in theory it could be possible. Saitgarayev mentioned also that main target for anti-asteroid weapon could be asteroid with diameter fitting in range 20 m-50 m. NEO in this size are rather not very dangerous for Earth - they are even not considered as possible threat by NASA which is focused only on asteroids with diameter over 140 m. First possible target for converted ICBM could be, according to Saitgarayev, Apophis - near-earth asteroid with diameter at around 325 m (here is little misunderstanding - Russian Researcher was mentioning asteroids with size under 50 m). According to NASA this asteroid after hitting the Earth generate explosion with power of 510 Mt. Of course it could cause disaster on area of couple thousand square meters but no global effects could be possible. In spite of this fact, Apophis will fly close to Earth in 2036 - highest probability of any hit is 0,0000043 on 13 April 2036; as we can see chance is very, very low. Again if Russia is seriously considering using any kind of nuclear weapon in space it should remember that for now it is banned. With such poor arguments, Russia has small chances to change this law in nearest future, or performing any space nuclear tests with any kind of acceptation of the World.

You can read more about previous Russian initiative here.

Sources:
http://tass.ru/en/science/855968

 

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