This nuclear missile was fired only once. Right on top of the five men.
In more than a decade since Project Trinity – which was the codename for the first nuclear weapon explosion, nuclear weapons are becoming more and more advanced and specialized. One of those technological directions is the development of nuclear air-to-air missiles.
The creation of such weapons was motivated by the reality of the Cold War, when high-speed bombers were becoming a very serious threat. The reason: there are no other weapons capable of stopping them effectively. At the time, guided missiles existed only as early prototypes, while countering bombers with machine guns and cannons did not seem (and is not) a credible idea.
The solution is simple in its concept: create a nuclear missile that can destroy anything in its target area. It doesn’t even need to be guided, because the blast radius is large enough to knock down several enemy planes flying in formation, with a single shot, without worrying about its accuracy.
And on July 19, 1957, in a special test operation, a 2 kiloton nuclear warhead was detonated over the heads of five men who volunteered for this test. Watch the following video that tells this story in detail, and provides more information about their volunteering motives and what happened to them: