Russian President Putin found another purpose for the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Modified intercontinental ballistic missiles will be used to eliminate threats of potentially dangerous asteroids.
The multi-million-pound Russian project aims to blow the space rock into smaller objects that could be less likely to threaten the planet.
There is more chance of them burning up higher in the atmosphere, thereby minimizing the risk of low level explosions or even impacts.
But scientists have never tested any theoretical near-Earth asteroid prevention techniques yet and there are fears that the use of missiles could make matters worse if an object fragments, sending more smaller rocks over a wider area.
Sabit Saitgarayev, researcher at Russia’s Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau, said modified missiles could be fired at asteroids of 20 to 50 metres in length.
So it is unclear why they are considering firing at 99942 Apophis, which was calculated as being a much larger 325-metres long during radar observations in 2013.
But, Russia has a vested interest in developing defences against asteroids and meteorites, following the Chelyabinsk incident in February 2013.
The Russians want to test missiles on an asteroid called 99942 Apophis, which, it is feared will pass cosmically very close to our planet in 2036.
NASA does not believe the rock will actually strike on this occasion, but the Russians see it as a valuable test run.