Apr 15, 2017

US conducts a new nuclear bomb flight test

The B61-12 nuclear bomb could soon be refurbished and ready for use, according to data that scientists received from a March 14 test drop of the mock nuclear bomb — the first in a new series of tests to be conducted over the next three years.

Who: Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico have been analyzing the data, and after witnessing "a mere puff of dust rising from a dry lake bed at Nevada's Tonopah Test Range," they deemed it to be a success.

What's next: The first version of the B61-12 is estimated to be ready in 2020.

Get smarter: This bomb is much different than the MOAB that was dropped on Afghanistan in that it is designed to penetrate its target, whereas the MOAB targets a larger area and has to be carried by a much larger plane.

Size matters: If you've read our Facts Matter, then you know the MOAB, despite weighing 21,600 pounds, is actually pretty puny compared to other nuclear bombs.

(The headline of this item has been updated to show it was a flight test.)

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