Here is a sentence that could only make sense in 2018: Scientists working with the National Nuclear Security Administration, NASA, and the Energy Department have designed a spacecraft capable of blowing up an asteroid with nukes.

BuzzFeed News reports their vehicle, called Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response (HAMMER), could use a number of tactics to defend Earth from asteroids. Small asteroids could be smashed with HAMMER’s 8.8-ton “impactor,” but for the big boys, HAMMER would use a nuke.

According to a new paper published in the journal Acta Astronautica, the idea for HAMMER came from a 2010 report from the National Research Council about defending Earth from Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

“The two realistic responses considered are the use of a spacecraft functioning as either a kinetic impactor or a nuclear explosive carrier to deflect the approaching NEO,” the researchers write.

Physicist David Dearborn of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory elaborated on this to BuzzFeed News.

“If the asteroid is small enough, and we detect it early enough, we can do it with the impactor,” Dearborn says. “The impactor is not as flexible as the nuclear option when we really want to change the speed of the body in a hurry.”

Dearborn and his colleagues considered how HAMMER would fare against a distant asteroid called Bennu, which has a 1 in 2,700 chance of striking Earth on September 21, 2135. They propose that several HAMMER spacecraft would throw themselves in front of the asteroid, slowing it down and deflecting its path to Earth.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample of Bennu.

While HAMMER might never actually be built due to various constraints, including cost, the scientists on this project say it’s better to be safe than sorry. The team will present their idea this May at the Workshop on Catastrophic Disruption in the Solar System in Japan.

It bears repeating that this is all a plan for the worst-case scenario. Our first line of defense is just hoping that we never need to exoplode an asteroid.

Digit is a great savings app that’s added more useful features since its debut more than four years ago. Amid the updates, Digit appears to have stayed uncomplicated in one area: Its mission to help people save money effortlessly. Longtime users will develop a few strategies to get the most of Digit and help them save money without thinking about it. It’s a surprisingly smart money-saving app.

Apple took down the Apple Store to begin making some updates on Wednesday morning in anticipation of its imminent product announcement. But not before some stealthy leakers were able to pull the product names of the three new iPhones — the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR — straight from a snippet of XML code. That put an end to one of the announcement’s biggest mysteries.

A refresh to Apple’s wireless earbuds was glaringly absent during Wednesday’s iPhone keynote. But while the announced hardware was skimpier than expected, the hoped-for AirPods 2 might have been teased at the very beginning of the yearly tech ceremony. Most notably, the video added to speculation that the second-generation of AirPods will come with Siri integration and be much more waterproof.

If you’re passionate about getting your hands on the latest in Apple’s smartphone tech, you’ll definitely want to get your pre-orders ready for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. Building upon last year’s iPhone X release, the pair of 5.8 and 6.5-inch OLED smartphones both have notched screens and improved facial recognition capabilities. But the eye-popping duo also set a new standard for Apple handsets to come.

Where the iPhone XS and XS Max bring brilliant displays and a new age of processing power, the iPhone Xr introduces unique color options. The 6.1-inch LCD handset fuses the notched-screen and Face ID features that set the iPhone X apart and breathes new life into the rainbow color palette that the 2015 iPhone 5c brought to market. It will start at $749 and it will ship by October 26.