Thus, the probability that nuclear explosives might be needed to deflect an NEO is extremely small. And even this minuscule probability will diminish to the vanishing point as researchers improve nonnuclear interception technologies. After 2020 the need to keep nuclear devices on standby to defend against an NEO virtually disappears. As a result, the decision to move toward the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons can be made strictly on the basis of human threats to global security. Extraterrestrial dangers need not be considered.
This article was originally published with the title NASA's Flimsy Argument for Nuclear Weapons.