Explosives

Get the science behind the inner workings of bombs, missiles and handheld weapons, including grenades. Learn how they work and how they are used to inflict maximum damage.

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How did the U.S. shoot down its spy satellite?

An out-of-control satellite was headed for Earth. Shooting it down could save lives, but was it all just a ruse to test anti-satellite defenses?


How E-Bombs Work

The U.S. could have a new high-tech electromagnetic weapon in its arsenal, and terrorists might be building their own low-tech versions. Find out how these weapons could tear apart modern technology.

How Smart Bombs Work

Smart bombs can navigate their own way to specific ground targets with startling accuracy, even in poor weather conditions. Find out how JDAMs and other smart bombs automatically find and hit their targets.

How MOAB Works

When the U.S. Air Force tested the MOAB last year, it tested one of the largest conventional bombs ever built. MOAB stands for Massive Ordnance Air Burst, and it's not for the faint-hearted. Find out how it fits into the U.S. arsenal.

How Sidewinder Missiles Work

A Sidewinder missile weaves through the air toward an enemy target as if it has a mind of its own -- and in a way, it does. High-tech "smart weapons" take most of the guess work out of hitting a target. Find out how Sidewinders seek and destroy.

How C-4 Works

C-4 is in the news quite a bit these days -- it's a powerful explosive that's used in terrorist attacks all over the world. Find out what C-4 explosive is and what it can do.

How Dirty Bombs Work

This week, U.S. officials said they dispatched scientists in December to search for dirty bombs in five U.S. cities, after learning of possible New Year's Eve terrorist attacks. Learn all about these crude weapons.

How Stinger Missiles Work

In an international sting, U.S. authorities arrested a man attempting to smuggle a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile into the U.S. Find out how the U.S. equivalent, the stinger, destroys air targets.

How Grenades Work

Grenades are a devastatingly effective weapon on the battlefield. Find out what happens when a soldier pulls the pin and tosses one of these miniature bombs at the enemy.

How Landmines Work

Landmines are a deadly legacy of 20th century warfare. Independent sources report that since 1975, landmines have killed or maimed more than 1 million people during peace time. Learn about the technology of landmines and their deactivation.

How Missile Defense Systems Will Work

What once was "Star Wars" under Reagan is now National Missile Defense under Bush. Learn more about the technology behind the system.