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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

How it Would Work: Destroying an Incoming Killer Asteroid With a Nuclear Blast

•, By Clay Dillow

One way or another, it’s on everyone’s minds, living somewhere in the back of our collective consciousness. Hollywood knows it, and continues to plumb it for box office numbers. Sci-fi is rife with it. The fossil record shouts warnings across millennia about it. Even the dinosaurs developed a particular, albeit brief, loathing for it. The killer asteroid--the one that we might never even see coming--could end life on this planet and there would be nothing humans could do about it. It creates a kind of helplessness that’s difficult to even think about, and it’s Robert Weaver’s job to think about it all the time.

Weaver, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), doesn’t hunt for killer asteroids, but he does study the ways humans might use their vast nuclear arsenals--designed to wipe each other off the face of the planet--to save the whole of humanity from a catastrophic asteroid impact.

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