What does it look like when you blow up a nuke in space? It's only happened once, in 1962, but newly declassified images shows exactly what happened.
Why, pray tell, did the government want to launch nukes into space? Well, apparently they wanted to test a few theories.
The plan was to send rockets hundreds of miles up, higher than the Earth's atmosphere, and then detonate nuclear weapons to see: a) If a bomb's radiation would make it harder to see what was up there (like incoming Russian missiles!); b) If an explosion would do any damage to objects nearby; c) If the Van Allen belts would move a blast down the bands to an earthly target (Moscow! for example); and — most peculiar — d) if a man-made explosion might "alter" the natural shape of the [Earth's magnetic] belts.How crazy is that? Apparently none of their experiments really panned out, as that launch was the first and last space nuke ever detonated. But it's probably for the best that they didn't alter the planet's magnetic fields.