The Russian government is going to revamp some of its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) in order to blow up asteroids before they reach Earth.
Sabit Saitgarayev of the Russian Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau claimed during an interview with the Russian TASS news agency the government intends to use some of the missiles in its arsenal left over from the Cold War in the new endeavor.
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Apparently, the nuclear-armed ICBMs would be used to target asteroids with a 20 to 50 meter diameter (approximately 65 to 164 feet). Asteroids of these sizes are difficult to detect, and using an ICBM to take them out before they hit Earth would be the last line of defense preventing a potential catastrophe.
“Unfortunately, we only know about roughly 1% of those asteroids that get down to the 30-meter size, so there’s a tremendous amount out there that we have yet to discover,” said Jason Kessler, NASA’s man in charge of identifying potential asteroid threats, to CNN.
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