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.