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US hydrogen bomb air drop mission. US B52 bomber releasing a thermonuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb) during a nuclear test during the Cold War. The USA carried out a number of hydrogen bomb tests. This one is an air drop, with the bomb descending by parachute after being released from the bomber. This gives the aircraft time to reach a safe distance before detonation. Hydrogen bombs result in nuclear fusion and are immensely powerful, with yields much greater than atomic bombs based on nuclear fission. Major US tests involving air drops of thermonuclear weapons included Operation Ivy and Operation Redwing in the 1950s, along with later tests in the 1960s and 1970s.
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