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March 12, 2013 13:04

Megaton bomb may destroy large asteroid - Rosatom

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax-AVN) - Humanity will have no more than a year to prevent a close encounter with a dangerous asteroid, deputy director of the Rosatom department for the development and testing of nuclear munitions and military power plants Oleg Shubin said at a Federation Council roundtable dedicated to planetary defense from space risks and threats.

"It will take a nuclear device much bigger than one megaton to intercept an asteroid of more than one kilometer in diameter. This scientific and technological task has a solution in principle," he said.

Up to 50% of dangerous asteroids cannot be traced in advance, he said.

"Humanity will have extremely limited time to prevent the collision, about one year, including time for launching an interceptor rocket," Shubin said.

In his words, the probability of collision with an asteroid is rather small but it may still happen any moment. "There will be no other danger in the foreseeable future that may lead to at least degradation of the civilization," Shubin said.


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