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Yes, as I said, the nuclear option is only for the small ones. And of course they could not be targeted close to Earth. That's the meaning of "powerful enough launcher" -- something that can get the warhead out to an approaching rock before it's much closer than the Moon.

They did not "attempt" to detonate a nuclear warhead in space. They succeeded. Starfish Prime was really in the upper reaches of the atmosphere, more or less where large numbers of "low Earth orbit" satellites are stationed today. And the ISS, as I recall. It was this test that showed the potential of EMP attacks. The interaction of nuclear explosions with Earth's magnetic field was not unexpected, but much more powerful than expected. Street lights and neon signs in Hawaii were knocked out, and they lost their phone links to the mainland US for a few hours. I'd say the weird aurora effects all around the planet are the most interesting thing about it.

The movie Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which was then turned into a TV series, was partly based on this testing program. But it uses early knowledge, or lack of it, about the Van Allen radiation belts and is hilariously wrong now.

That is an interesting question about how well the warheads would survive space travel. But they wouldn't be in space for more than a day or so with the short-range intercepts. Larger asteroids at greater distances require a different solution.

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NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 1089 Eddie Larry 29-Sep-19 14:27
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 98 Nolondil 29-Sep-19 23:56
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 92 Aine 30-Sep-19 13:50
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 95 Ellyll 02-Oct-19 19:42
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 96 Nolondil 03-Oct-19 01:07
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 82 Aine 04-Oct-19 15:31
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 86 Eddie Larry 04-Oct-19 16:46
Re: NASA to Build New Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope 133 Nolondil 05-Oct-19 01:11


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