Russia Will Work on Nuclear Technology for Planetary Defense
Jan. 16, 2016 (EIRNS)—"Europeans Ask Russia To Develop Nuclear Weapons against Asteroids," is the dramatic headline of an article today in TASS. The research is part of the European Commission-sponsored NEOShield program, in which Russia’s Roscosmos Central Machine Building Research Institute is a partner. The NEOShield program was started in 2012, and expired in the middle of last year. It has been followed by NEOShield-2, which began in March, and is to explore various methods of asteroid collision mitigation and deflection over the next approximately two and half years.
In NEOShield-2, Russia is tasked with investigating "blast deflection, mission design, and global mitigations strategies," according to the NEOShield website description. The Russian work is assigned to the Central Machine Building Research Institute (TsNIImash), which will work with experts from various Roscomos divisions and the Academy of Sciences.
It is recognized that at present, nuclear explosions in space are banned,
"however, if an asteroid ... with the threat of enormous damage or even the very existence of life on Earth, those bans, of course, will be dropped,"
TASS proposes. The TsNIImash institute says the safest method would be a nuclear explosion at a far distance, where there is sufficient time to destroy it, before it approaches the Earth.
On Jan. 8, NASA announced that it is establishing a Planetary Defense Coordination Office to bring all relevant programs in the civil and military agencies under one roof. The Russians quickly stated they are ready to cooperate with the effort.