one of the most popular ideas for deflecting asteroids away from a potential collision with Earth is to fire many nuclear missiles at the asteroid, with the idea that the blast would vaporize the asteroid, eliminating the danger. However, the energy requirements may not be attainable with the world's current arsenal of nuclear weapons, as there are currently no nuclear weapons that release enough energy to destroy an asteroid only a half mile (1 km) in diameter. If enough blasts or a large enough blast could be directed at an incoming asteroid, it is likely that the blasts would simply fragment the asteroid into many pieces, which would then fall to Earth along with the radiation from the nuclear explosions.
Instead of aiming nuclear blasts directly at any incoming asteroid, it may be possible to divert the orbit of the asteroid by exploding many nuclear bombs near the asteroid, and the energy released from these blasts could effectively steer the asteroid away from its collision course with Earth. A group of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a study called Project Icarus, showing such a strategy to be theoretically possible.
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