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World’s largest thermonuclear bomb will be exhibition “highlight”

THE BOMB THAT SHOCKED THE WORLD: A Soviet photo of the 67 km high mushroom cloud detonated over Novaya Zemlya in October 1961.

The most powerful weapon in history of humanity, the 58 megaton “Tsar-bomba” detonated over Novaya Zemlya in 1961, will be on display when Rosatom celebrates 70 years of nuclear industry.

“We will show all the gruel!” reads Rosatom’s Facebook promotion of the exhibition opening in Moscow in September. 

The exhibition is devoted to the Soviet/Russian nuclear industry’s history. From Josef Stalin in August 1945 ordered to accelerate research and development of the Soviet nuclear weapons program.

“The highlight of the program will be the legendary thermonuclear bomb AN-602, “Tsar-bomba” – the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind,” Rosatom writes on its portal.


Illustration by Rosatom.

Detonated over Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic on October 30, 1961, the bomb sent shockwaves across the planet. Not only politically and military, but also literally. The shockwave went three times around the earth. The fireball was 8 kilometres and was visable all the way to the Scandinavia mainland, some 1,000 kilometres from ground zero. The mushroom cloud went 67 kilometres high, while the cap of the cloud had a peak width of 95 kilometres. 

The detonation was 3,600 more powerful than American bomb that destroyed Hiroshima on August 6th 1945.

The model of the bomb will be transported to the Manezh central exhibition hall near the walls of Kremlin in Moscow the night to Saturday this week. The exhibition will be open from September 1st to 29th. 


The model of the 58 MT “Tsar bomba” is normally at display at the closed museum in the nuclear research city of Saratov. Rosatom