Tsar Bomba's Blast Wave Orbited Earth Three Times in 1961
This day in history.
September 17, 1954:
A nuclear range ground was created on Russia’s Novaya Zemlya Archipelago. The test of the legendary RDS-202 bomb, also known as the Tsar Bomba, was tested on the range ground in October of 1961. It was the most powerful explosive device that has ever been created in the history of mankind – a 50-megatonn thermonuclear bomb developed under the supervision of academician I.V. Kurchatov.
The plane, covered with a special protective white coating, piloted by Major A. Durnovtsev, took off on October 30, 1961, during the work of the XXII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The aircraft dropped the bomb within the territory of the range ground at the height of 4,500 meters. The power of the explosion exceeded the expected capacity and made up 57 megatons of TNT.
The results of the Tsar Bomba explosion impressed the whole world. The nuclear mushroom was 64 kilometers high and 40 kilometers in diameter. The fire ball of the explosion was 4.6 km in diameter. The blast wave orbited the globe three times. One-third of the range ground melted and turned into glass surface.
The bomb did not have any significance per se. Its size and weight excluded a successful delivery in case of a real war. There was only one bomb made specifically for only one test explosion. The USSR (and then Russia) did not have an intention to put such monstrous bombs into arsenal. The bomb was exploded to demonstrate the USSR’s possession of extremely powerful weapons of mass destruction. The USA’s most powerful A-bomb was four times less powerful than the Tsar Bomba.
September 17, 1953:
The first operation to separate Siamese twins was performed in the world successfully. The names of the two lucky babies were lost in history along with the stories of their lives after the separation. The surgery is still considered extremely complicated nowadays. Each of such operations receives an extensive news coverage all over the world. Modern medicine allows to perform nearly perfect separation of Siamese twins in case there are anatomical prerequisites for that. The separated babies can grow and live like all other human beings.
September 17, 1934:
The world’s first-ever gramophone record, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony saw the light. Vinyl records gained immense popularity all over the world soon afterwards.
September 17, 1976:
NASA unveiled the world’s first-ever shuttle spacecraft – Enterprise. NASA is currently wrapping up the shuttle program; it will be closed in a couple of years.
September 17, 1991:
Legendary software engineer Linus Torvalds of Finland published the initial code of Linux, the kernel of a new operating system. Linux has gained immense popularity internationally. It gradually becomes an available alternative to Microsoft’s Windows.