Asteroid Strike against Earth: Would an explosion in space, even a nuclear one, behave as they do on Earth?

My understanding of the way explosions destroy things is that the explosive materials produce intense heat which heats up the surrounding air which expands and it is the resulting shockwave that does the damage.
My understanding of space is that there isn't any air.
So will any form of explosion in space be able to push an asteroid off its trajectory?

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