That's if we have time. "From my perspective, the nuclear option is for the surprise asteroid or comet that we haven't seen before, one that basically comes out of nowhere and we have just a few months to respond to it," Weaver says. In other words, lacking the time to deploy something more elegant, we can pull out the method of last resort and blast the threat out of existence with the biggest energy source at our disposal. There's no telling exactly how an asteroid deflection mission would transpire because it's never been tried before, but scientists like Weaver are hard at work simulating the ins and outs of mitigating of an incoming impactor. It's knowledge we hope we'll never have to use, but should we ever have to, this is how it would work.