US setting aside some nuclear weapons to combat asteroids

The U.S. military plans to keep some nuclear weapons available in case an asteroid poses a significant threat to the Earth.

Published Thu, Oct 2 2014 1:30 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:14 PM CST

The United States military has slowed down efforts to dismantle some of its aging nuclear warheads, just in case they are needed for use against asteroids that threaten the Earth. Until an evaluation is conducted to determine "their use in planetary defense against earth-bound asteroids," according to officials.

US setting aside some nuclear weapons to combat asteroids | TweakTown.com

Nuclear weapons could be used to strike asteroids to either knock them off course - or detonate asteroids to create smaller fragments - that would no longer pose a threat to the planet. Of course, such controversial research has garnered some criticism, including the idea that this is just an excuse for the U.S. military to keep a functional nuclear arsenal.

NASA previously outlined its interest in trying to capture an asteroid which could be used by researchers for further studies. The U.S. space agency will test capabilities by 2030 as part of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), and it could also be used to help manned missions reach Mars.

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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