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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


The MK43, W44, W50, MK57, and W59 share a common "Tsetse" primary. Both the "Tsetse" and "Python" primaries were plagued by a tritium cross-section miscalculation uncovered during the early 1960s, after the nuclear testing moratorium ended.

The Starfish Prime test took place on July 9, 1962. A Thor rocket was launched from Johnston Island carrying a 1.45 megaton W49 thermonuclear warhead. When the warhead detonated at a height of 248 miles, it unexpectedly lit up the night skies all over Hawaii hundreds of miles away for six minutes.

Length: 54.3-in - 57.9-in
Diameter: 20-in
Weight: 1,640 - 1,680-lbs
Yield: 1.44 MT
Fusing : Airburst or contact
Manufactured: 9/58 - 1964
: LASL (Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory)
: Used in Thor (Mod 0,1, 3), RVs used Mk-2 heat sink.

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