NASA draws up plans for nuke-packing asteroid interceptor

NASA has (thankfully) been working on various asteroid diverting measures for some time now, but the agency apparently still isn't satisfied with its options, and it's now showing off its newest bit of potential world-saving technology. Designed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, this latest system would consist of six missile-like interceptor vehicles that would launch aboard an Ares V cargo launch vehicle, each carrying with them a 1.2-megaton B83 nuclear warhead. That, NASA says, should be enough to deflect an asteroid the size of the Apophis asteroid that's expected to pass within the orbit of the Earth and the Moon in April of 2029. So as not to make the problem even worse, the warheads apparently wouldn't actually strike the asteroid directly, but instead detonate at a distance of one-third of its diameter, generating a force that would (theoretically) deflect the asteroid out of the Earth's path.

[Via Slashdot]