Have you ever heard of a secret US government nuclear program called Starfish Prime? On July 9th, 1962, nuclear scientists detonated a 1.45 megaton nuclear warhead, called Starfish Prime, in outer space above the Pacific Ocean. Here’s why they did it and what they learned after the resulting nuclear explosion.
What Was The Purpose Of Starfish Prime?
Why did the US government launch a nuclear warhead into outer space? Was an Armageddon sized asteroid hurtling towards the Earth? Were they preventing an alien invasion? Nope, they just wanted to see what would happen. After all, it was the 1960’s.
What Happened After The Nuclear Detonation?
So what happened? What was the result of this infamous nuclear experiment?
Plenty of expensive damage for sure. The resulting nuclear explosion created a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that damaged most of the satellites orbiting the Earth at the time. The blast also caused damage on Earth. It triggered burglar alarms, interrupted telephone communications, and even knocked out street lights in Hawaii.
And a light show. Beta particles from the blast caused a lighting storm in the atmosphere.
The Biggest And Last Nuclear Explosion In Outer Space
Starfish Prime was the largest nuclear explosion ever in outer space and one of only five nuclear tests conducted by the US government in outer space. Let’s hope the days of drug and nuclear experimentation died with the 1960s.
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