A mockup of a Soviet AN-602 hydrogen bomb (Tsar Bomb) is displayed at the exhibition devoted to the 70th anniversary of Russias nuclear industry in Moscow on September 1, 2015. The most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated was first tested on October 30, 1961, having 50 megatons of TNT equivalent.

Source:  Ryan Saavedra

The Russian government this week released previously classified footage of the largest nuclear weapons test in history: The 1961 testing of the Tsar Bomba.

The bomb, which was built at the height of the nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia, was over 3,300 times more powerful than the nuclear weapon that the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima.

The bomb was 26 feet long, had a diameter of 7 feet, and weighed nearly 60,000 pounds. The bomb was so powerful that scientists had to outfit it with a giant parachute in an attempt to give the Soviet Tu-95 bomber that dropped it enough time to escape the area without being blown out of the sky.

“In the village of Severny, some 55km (34 miles) from Ground Zero, all houses were completely destroyed. In Soviet districts hundreds of miles from the blast zone, damage of all kinds – houses collapsing, roofs falling in, damage to doors, windows shattering – were reported. Radio communications were disrupted for more than an hour,” the BBC reported. “The blast wave from Tsar Bomba caused the giant bomber to plummet more than 1,000m (3,300ft) before the pilot could regain control.”

The energy released from the detonation was “10 times more powerful than all the munitions expended during World War Two,” the BBC added. “Sensors registered the bomb’s blast wave orbiting the Earth not once, not twice, but three times.”

“After the Tsar Bomba and other thermonuclear tests on Novaya Zemlya and by the United States in the Pacific, the two superpowers realized the craziness of conducting atmospheric tests with huge radioactive fallouts,” The Barents Observer, a Norwegian publication, reported. “In 1963, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty banning tests in the atmosphere, outer space and underwater.”