States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals with the exception of two nuclear weapons to be used for asteroid deflection in the future

Nuclear deflection against asteroids is key --- extinction

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Nuclear deflection against asteroids is key --- extinction

Cooper 13 Necia Grant Cooper, Los Alamos National Lab. “Killing Killer Asteroids” BAC

Whew! We can all temporarily breathe a sigh of relief. However, the likelihood that one day a killer asteroid will be on a collision course with Earth is very high. Under a 2005 congressional mandate, government-sponsored surveys using ground and space-based telescopes have discovered 9,500 near-Earth objects; 1,300 of these, are deemed potentially hazardous. New asteroids and comets can be expected to enter Earth’s neighborhood as the gravitational pull of passing stars and collisions between asteroids do their work to alter the orbits of these (mostly) Solar-system residents. Also, we know with certainty from many fields of study that 63 million years ago, a 6-mile-diameter asteroid collided with Earth, striking Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, releasing 10 million megatons of energy, creating a huge crater, and causing the extinction of the dinosaurs, a major change in climate, and the beginning of a new geological age. Any near Earth object greater than a half-mile in diameter can become a deadly threat, potentially causing a mass extinction of us. Disrupting a Killer Asteroid These facts keep many professional and lay astronomers busy monitoring the sky. Recognizing the risk, astrophysicists are working on ways to intercept a killer asteroid and disrupt it in some way that will avert disaster. Los Alamos astrophysicist Robert Weaver is working on how to protect humanity from a killer asteroid by using a nuclear explosive. Weaver is not worried about the intercept problem. He would count on the rocket power and operational control already developed by NASA to intercept a threatening object and deliver the nuclear device. NASA’s Dawn Mission has been able to place a spacecraft in orbit around Vesta, a huge almost-planet-size asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the NASA Deep Impact mission sent a probe into the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel. In other words, we have the technology to rendezvous with a killer object and try to blow it up with a nuclear explosive. But will it work? Weaver’s initial set of simulations on Los Alamos’ powerful Cielo supercomputer demonstrates the basic physics of how a nuclear burst would do the job. The simulations suggest that a 1-megaton nuclear blast could deter a killer asteroid the size of Apophis or somewhat larger. By far the most detailed of Weaver’s calculations is a 3D computer simulation of a megaton blast on the surface of the potato-shaped Itokawa asteroid. Visited by Japan’s Hayabusa asteroid lander back in 2005, Itokawa is a conglomerate of granite rocks, a quarter of a mile long and about half as wide, held together by self-gravity (the gravitational attraction among its constituents). Weaver used the most modern, sophisticated Los Alamos codes to predict the progress of a megaton nuclear blast wave from the point of detonation through the asteroid.

Solves the aff—prevents all the aff impacts because it gets rid of nukes and prevents further extinction from happening down the road.

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