Man. Don’t mess with Russia. After getting bopped by an asteroid less than three years ago, the Kremlin already has a plan to missile fuck the next one that tries to hit their soil.
In 2013, a 60-foot wide meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, with the equivalent of a fucking butt load of dynamite, injuring over 1,000 people.
Not fucking again, Russia said, as today they announced plans to retrofit some Cold War-era intercontinental ballistic missiles to blow those fuckers up before they ever come into the Russian atmosphere.
Boss. From CNN:
Russia plans to modify some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles to destroy asteroids before they hit Earth, according to a top Russian rocket researcher.
Sabit Saitgarayev of Russia’s Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau revealed the effort during an interview last week with the government-owned TASS news agency.
They’ve got plenty of nukes to try this with, and they also have an asteroid in mind. That’s right. PRACTICE SPACE NUKING!
Russia has large numbers of nuclear-armed ICBMs in its strategic arsenal that could potentially be converted. It is unclear if the Russian plan would use a conventional explosive in the repurposed missile, but its targeting system is likely to require significant modifications.
Saitgarayev acknowledged in the TASS interview that the modifications would take time and cost millions of dollars but said they are aiming to test the new missile against the larger 355-yard asteroid Apophis that is due to pass close to Earth in 2036.
I. CANNOT. WAIT. Meanwhile, some people — cough, cough America — do not approve of this plan.
The prospect of Russia modifying nuclear missiles for outer space is likely to cause alarm within the U.S. military. The office of the Director of National Intelligence has already expressed concern about Russian military activities in space.
Its 2016 threat assessment says that Russia continues “to pursue weapons systems capable of destroying satellites on orbit.” The assessment notes that “the Russian Duma officially recommended in 2013 that Russia resume research and development of an airborne antisatellite missile to ‘be able to intercept absolutely everything that flies from space.'”
That doesn’t mean we too aren’t trying to do it. NASA recently announced the Office of Planetary Defense, with a mandate to gently deflect away potential asteroids, but we’re also secretly working to blow them the shit up.
According to Melosh, there are also ongoing efforts at the two U.S. nuclear weapons research centers, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, to investigate the possibility of using nuclear weapons against larger asteroids with long warning times.
Paul Miller, associate division leader of the Design Physics Division at Lawrence Livermore, told CNN that the institution was “supporting NASA by modeling deflection techniques, including kinetic impactors or nuclear explosions.”
CAN YOU SAY SPACE ASTEROID NUCLEAR COLD WAR???
I bet you can.