We Would Never Allow This Test Today - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

We Would Never Allow This Test Today

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HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... something far more frightening. 'It' was code-named 'Starfish Prime,' a test conducted in the summer of 1962, when a 1.45-megaton nuclear weapon was launched 250 miles into space above the Pacific Ocean and then detonated.

The resulting nuclear explosion in space, reports Discover Magazine, was a pulse of energy so strong it affected electrical circuits, power lines, and streetlights in Hawaii, nearly 600 miles away.

The purpose of this test was, basically, just to see what would happen, notes HowStuffWorks. Specifically, researchers wanted examine how the explosion would affect the Van Allen Radiation Belts -- bands of high-energy protons and electrons that follow the Earth's natural magnetic field -- to see if they could be manipulated for national defense purposes. click here to read more

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