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Originally posted by sos37
I never understood - why not just detonate a few high powered explosives or nukes beside the asteroid and use the explosion's shock wave to alter the asteroid's course? Once you push something in a certain direction in a zero vacuum it keeps going that direction.
If a nuclear weapon is exploded in a vacuum-i. e., in space-the complexion of weapon effects changes drastically:
First, in the absence of an atmosphere, blast disappears completely.
Second, thermal radiation, as usually defined, also disappears. There is no longer any air for the blast wave to heat and much higher frequency radiation is emitted from the weapon itself.