Tsar Bomba: The Story Behind The Largest Nuclear Bomb Ever Detonated

When Main Andrei Durnovstev climbed into his modified Tu-95V on the morning of October thirtieth, 1961, with the Tsar Bomber onboard, he knew that he and his crew solely had a 50/50 probability of survival. The bomb was gigantic. It measured 26 toes in size and weighed 27 metric tons, (59,525 lbs). It was connected to a parachute that alone weighed 1,800 lbs, designed to gradual the bomb’s descent for lengthy sufficient for Durnovstev and his crew to achieve (it was hoped) a protected distance of at the least 30 miles earlier than it went off.

50/50 is not nice odds, however had the Tsar Bomba been examined at its most theoretical yield of 100 megatons, Durnovstev would definitely have been doomed. Soviet scientists estimated {that a} single detonation would have resulted in harmful and widespread ranges of radioactive fallout, and would have destroyed the aircraft that dropped the bomb.

The Tsar Bomba exploded with a harmful energy equal to greater than 1500 occasions that of the weapons dropped over Japan in 1945. It created a fireball greater than 8 kilometers extensive, and the warmth from the explosion was intense sufficient to trigger third-degree burns at a distance of greater than 60 miles from the detonation level. The shock wave was felt from 430 miles away, and due to “atmospheric focusing,” it was reported that home windows shattered as distant as Norway and Finland. The shock wave traveled across the earth 3 times earlier than it will definitely dissipated. Durnovstev and his crew survived, however solely after being pummelled by the shock wave, which precipitated their aircraft to drop by greater than 3,000 toes earlier than management was regained. The paintwork on a secret US spy aircraft, covertly observing the take a look at from close by, was scorched.