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$29M To Start US Satellite Protection Program

kdawson posted about 6 years ago | from the space-race dept.

Space 74

coondoggie sends in a Network World piece that begins "The Air Force laid out $29 million in contracts this week to build space-based sensors that could detect threats or hazards and protect satellites in orbit. Assurance Technologies and Lockheed Martin Space Systems will split $20 million of the two-year contract that the Air Force says should ultimately demonstrate a viable sensing capability, as well as integration with other space systems to offer threat and hazard detection, assessment and notification ... The Air Force is looking to protect satellites from ground based lasers or anti-satellite missiles mostly."

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And my first thought was... (2, Funny)

Narnie (1349029) | about 6 years ago | (#25502729)

pew!! pew!!

Re:And my first thought was... (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | about 6 years ago | (#25503309)

Funny, my first thought was:

"Is this any relation to Reagan asking the UN if (interplanetary) aliens might already be among us?"

Re:And my first thought was... (1)

ravnous (301936) | about 6 years ago | (#25503593)

My first thought was:

Some pushy salesman at Lockheed Martin wore down the Air Force about how wonderful the Satellite Protection program was. The Air Force stood there wondering whether it really needed the protection program, or whether it would take its chances, seeing how most of these protection programs are ripoffs.

Re:And my first thought was... (1)

Narnie (1349029) | about 6 years ago | (#25504713)

Satellite Protection Program

Is that anything like the mafia's fire insurance programs?

Re:And my first thought was... (1)

diefuchsjagden (835254) | about 6 years ago | (#25506367)

Really my first thought was StarWars© well not really more like star wars as in weaponized Satellites, but that what I get for judging a book by its cover or in this case an article(forum post) by its title... though this is a conceivable use for these "threat detectors," how long until the supposed "detectors" become threats themselves?

That's a Nice Satellite There... (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | about 6 years ago | (#25502773)

Be a shame if something was to happen to it. (*Crash*) Whoops. How clumsy of me...

Re:That's a Nice Satellite There... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25505147)

Yeah, that was the sort of "protection" scheme I immediately thought of when I read the headline.

Like if somebody (Russia, China) damages our satellites, we'll send Louie and the boys round and break their kneecaps...

Re:That's a Nice Satellite There... (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509619)

Yeah, though it works best if you read it in a heavy New York accent, like the guy from Charlie the Unicorn. [youtube.com]

Re:That's a Nice Satellite There... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | about 6 years ago | (#25505937)

That's a Nice Satellite There
Be a shame if something was to happen to it. (*Crash*) Whoops. How clumsy of me...

My laptop! [toshiba.com]

More Star Wars? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | about 6 years ago | (#25502783)

Seriously, George Lucas? More Star Wars?

Give it a rest. Although, at least this one won't be a prequel.

Re:More Star Wars? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 years ago | (#25503175)

Really, a ground based laser? What exactly can a satellite do in the 5 seconds between when the laser is turned on and when it is done burning a hole through the satellite?

It has to be automatic, as it takes too long for the detection to signal to the ground, then for even a small group of humans to decide, yup, that's a problem, then send a signal back to work some kind of mirror into place.

Re:More Star Wars? (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | about 6 years ago | (#25503461)

What exactly can a satellite do in the 5 seconds between when the laser is turned on and when it is done burning a hole through the satellite?

I dunno, maybe move? Asides from geosynchronous satelites (Which albeit are a sizable portion them) they are moving relative to earth, often quiet rapidly so, and you know have to take this very thin laser beam and hit this very small object and hold it there for a few seconds to do soem damage, to futher compound the problem the satelite could be setup to spin everything that doesn't need to be stationary, use a mesh for an antenna, and have a certain redundancy in the solar panels or use an RTG/Reactor. Leaving an even smaller target to actually be picked on. I can't see any laser based anti satelite weaponry being feasible in the near future, missiles are definetly the way to go.

Re:More Star Wars? (1)

KGIII (973947) | about 6 years ago | (#25504961)

missiles are definetly the way to go

Yip. The U.S. Navy managed to paste [cnn.com] one earlier this year with a missle. Though it looks as if the US has been planing on anti-satellite lasers and China has been pointing lasers at US satellites in the not too distant past.

Re:More Star Wars? (0, Troll)

rtb61 (674572) | about 6 years ago | (#25503651)

It is just an excuse to weaponise satellites, you know, it is only defensive and they 'need' to destroy other satellites before they can destroy our satellites. So they have been fucking around with recreating cold war military industrial spending as the B$ war in terrorism is petering out regardless of their best efforts to keep it going.

So they are determined to shift it into space where real money can spent without any benefit to anybody except the profit margins of arms manufacturers, those who live to create new and more profitable ways of killing the rest of us off.

They seem to be slowly but surely pushing the new threat out into space, hmm, the new military industrial profit centre, alien invasion. Perhaps they are slowly starting to shift their thinking for debunking aliens to promoting the xenophobic threat of alien contamination as they are running out of suitable threats upon our own grubby little polluted planet.

Re:More Star Wars? (2, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25504981)

Good thing that was marked troll. All those military industry CEOs, arms manufacturers, military strategists, and politicians who read slashdot would have been pretty upset had they read that.

Re:More Star Wars? (1)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25505005)

What exactly can a satellite do in the 5 seconds between when the laser is turned on and when it is done burning a hole through the satellite?

If we put mirrors on it before hand, it could reflect the lasers back at the feet of the evildoers who were trying to destroy our satelites (and freedom) and could film them melting saying "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!" Then automatically upload it to youtube. I'd say that's worth 29 million.

$29 Million? (4, Insightful)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about 6 years ago | (#25502787)

$29 million doesn't buy much these days.
--
  IP Finding [ipfinding.com]

Re:$29 Million? (0, Offtopic)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 6 years ago | (#25503041)

I can buy you 29 million of these [sciplus.com] . What more could you want?

Re:$29 Million? (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | about 6 years ago | (#25503121)

Good call - we just send up 29 million american gladiator types with these things - problem solved.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

DarkEntity (1089729) | about 6 years ago | (#25503161)

I can buy you 29 million of these [sciplus.com] . What more could you want?

58 million cheeseburgers.

Re:$29 Million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503385)

116 million quarters. No, seriously, just give me the money, I can put it to much better use, like buying DarkEntity 29 million cheeseburgers and TheRealMindChild 15.5 million inflatable barbells.

With the remainder I can still pay my debts and live a life comparable to an Exxon-Mobil execs' for about a week.

Re:$29 Million? (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 6 years ago | (#25503317)

I was thinking the same thing. For 29 Million, you probably get a requirements document, a feasibility study to see if the idea is even workable, and maybe a high level architecture. If you hire a small, agile company (read: 'cheap') you might get some kind of small, proof of concept for one or two small parts of the system with the highest risk of failure.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

shakuni (644197) | about 6 years ago | (#25508705)

$ 80 M - budget for the Chandrayaan - India's moon mission. So 30M can get you a lot if used properly.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25527485)

SSTL [sstl.co.uk] can design and build you two satellites for that price. I'm sure there are similar companies here in the US.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

Hojima (1228978) | about 6 years ago | (#25503341)

$29 million doesn't buy much these days.

Define "much." Because this country has many people that truly can't buy "much" "these days". As soon as there's an eminent war with a global super power (because anything shorter of one wouldn't merit this program), I'm pretty sure a lot of us are going to look back and say "I wish all that money was spent on stabilizing our economy and international relations rather than on big guns for the pricks that started this conflict."

Re:$29 Million? (2, Interesting)

jlarocco (851450) | about 6 years ago | (#25503929)

Define "much." Because this country has many people that truly can't buy "much" "these days". As soon as there's an eminent war with a global super power (because anything shorter of one wouldn't merit this program), I'm pretty sure a lot of us are going to look back and say "I wish all that money was spent on stabilizing our economy and international relations rather than on big guns for the pricks that started this conflict."

In case you missed it, they already tried spending over $800 billion dollars on that, and it didn't work. Seems very unlikely a mere $29 million more would fix the problem.

Not that I necessarily agree with this satellite program, but it's a better waste of tax money than bailing out idiots.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

skam240 (789197) | about 6 years ago | (#25506581)

Agreed. I'm a bit of a liberal and still loath the idea of bailing out people with no fiscal restraint and likewise believe that these types of programs are essential to our national security.

Re:$29 Million? (1)

bendodge (998616) | about 6 years ago | (#25505333)

The US (and any other Western country) can fix absolutely nothing if they loose their satellite network. We are completely dependent on satellites. The only news that could be better than this would be that somebody had decided to put some new life into SDI. (An EMP would be even worse than loosing satellites.)

Re:$29 Million? (1)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#25505021)

It could buy you plenty of mirrors.

(And don't tell me anything about how that wouldn't help, lasers would still heat it up, blah blah blah. I've heard that before and I still say the same thing: boring.)

Aren't the armed forces already.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25502893)

overbudget by hundreds of billions of dollars? It's nice they are trying to protect a few birds in the sky, but what about us the little people?

Re:Aren't the armed forces already.. (1)

slacktide (796664) | about 6 years ago | (#25502995)

The little people can fly the airlines in peace, knowing that the GPS constellation on which the airspace system increasingly relies on is protected from disruptive Chinese space weapons.

Re:Aren't the armed forces already.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503071)

Great, so how will we the little people afford plane tickets when the government continues spending that money blowing up stuff outside our borders?

Re:Aren't the armed forces already.. (4, Insightful)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | about 6 years ago | (#25503171)

If someone starts blowing up satellites you have bigger problems then someone affording plane tickets. We can not protect our borders effectively without satellites , boats use GPS so shipping is effected. Trains use GPS to track their locations so so trade by train is effected. When you purchase gas with a credit card the transaction is sent via satellite so credit card purchases are effected. Cell phones are effected if satellites are taken out. So in other words stop to think that maybe this is a good project because the second the US starts loosing satellites we have some huge problems on our hands.

Re:Aren't the armed forces already.. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25504219)

Uhmm, the word 'effect' means something totally different from 'affect'.

'Effect' is a verb and means 'to make it happen'.

Great news for all you US satellites out there (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about 6 years ago | (#25502955)

No more orbiting in fear, wondering when you'll cross groundtracks with the wrong satellite.

I sure don't understand (1, Offtopic)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | about 6 years ago | (#25503015)

the tagging system here.

What's 'mafiaa' got to do with this?

Re:I sure don't understand (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 years ago | (#25503279)

Nothing at all. Indeed, that tag should not be present... but enough people have put it on there to make it stick?

Re:I sure don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503407)

My guess is that a group of slashdot users are deliberately abusing the tagging system in order to raise the awareness that the "disable tags" preference doesn't work. This morning there were several stories with tags like "whycantihidetags" and "fucktags" (which have since been removed). Frankly, I'm all for them. I disabled tags in the old UI and I've disabled them in the new one too in hopes that the preference eventually works.

About as much (1)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#25503669)

As sharks.

Re:I sure don't understand (1)

Narnie (1349029) | about 6 years ago | (#25504779)

This Satellite Protection Program prevents Assurance Technologies and Lockheed Martin Space Systems from using lasers or launching rockets into space and disabling satellites. Kind of like paying insurance to the mafia to prevent your business from burning down or from your legs from getting broken.

Will be cancelled. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503033)

There are no benefits for the unskilled unemployed voter. The dhimmo-crat controlled US government will cancel it as soon as possible.

Re:Will be cancelled. (1)

skam240 (789197) | about 6 years ago | (#25506617)

Yeah, because us Democrats hate programs essential to our national security. I know the second I read this (being a Democrat myself) I said "National security is stupid. Protecting vital communication tools is stupid. We should spend all of this money on art!"

Wait, I didn't think any of that. I thought that this was a vital program and that you're an idiot who can't spell Democrat properly and makes retarded assumptions.

It's about time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503051)

...considering all the crap floating around in orbit. And mynocks... chewing on the power couplings... lol

But seriously, given how much these satellites cost to build and to launch into orbit, taking some precautionary measures just makes sense.

laser protection? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 6 years ago | (#25503125)

I have a hard time seeing how sensors are going to protect a satalite from an attack by lasers. Once the sensor detects the beam (somehow), it's too late to move the satalite, isnt it?

Re:laser protection? (4, Informative)

wiggles (30088) | about 6 years ago | (#25503225)

If you had read the first paragraph of TFA, you would have read this:

demonstrate a viable sensing capability, as well as integration with other space systems to offer threat and hazard detection, assessment and notification.

In other words, it's not so much about protecting the satellite, but confirming that the satellite was or was not hit by some sort of laser. That would be some pretty valuable intelligence, if you ask me. The system will tell DOD that somebody's shooting at their stuff, not preventing someone from shooting at them.

Re:laser protection? (2, Informative)

daveime (1253762) | about 6 years ago | (#25503299)

Not sure if these figures are 100%, but I understand that geo-stat orbit satellites are at a distance of 38,500km above the earths surface ... and speed of light is 299,792 km/s ... that surely gives them about 128 milliseconds to detect an incoming laser beam from initiation on earth to the target light hitting the satellite's detector.

And as it would take at least ANOTHER 128 milliseconds to transmit that fact back to earth anyway, it means we'd only know about it 128 milliseconds after the thing had been bloody vaporized anyway.

I can think of better ways to spend 29 million to be honest, mostly involving hookers and beer.

Re:laser protection? (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 6 years ago | (#25504253)

Just because we can't save the satellite being taken out doesn't mean that this technology is useless.
Detection can be used to deploy countermeasures on other satellites, for example.
So instead of losing 100 of them we only lose 1 or 2 and the others rotate 180 degrees to present a reflective shield or something while we hunt down and bomb whoever is lasing our sats.
At the very least we could hunt them down and bomb them after the fact out of spite.

Re:laser protection? (1)

yahooglesoft (1381239) | about 6 years ago | (#25504647)

Unless they know about this detection system and decide to take them all out at once. How many countries that can build one of these can't build 20, 100, 1000 if they really want?

Re:laser protection? (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 6 years ago | (#25505385)

Maybe, but this is the strategy that bankrupted the Soviets.
Now instead of building one big anti-satellite laser and knocking them out sequentially, they have to build many lasers and take them out in parallel.
That equals time in which our satellites are safe, and more money out of any potential enemies pockets if they do decide to threaten our satellites.
Also, who says it would be a country doing the shooting?
It might be possible for a laser accurate and powerful enough to be built by a private party or paramilitary group soon.

Re:laser protection? (1)

zapakh (1256518) | about 6 years ago | (#25506603)

... that surely gives them about 128 milliseconds to detect an incoming laser beam from initiation on earth to the target light hitting the satellite's detector.

Right, because light travels faster than... light.

Re:laser protection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25510879)

You can't detect the laser before the first photons arrive. Doing so would violate relativity.

But apart from that, lasers don't instantly blow things up like in the movies. It takes a while for the laser to push enough energy to the target. Giving plenty of time to send a signal down to Earth.

Protection Program (0, Redundant)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#25503191)

Sounds like the mob to me.

Let the market work! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 6 years ago | (#25503251)

Instead of gov't funding such a socialist venture, I say use the market. Buy an insurance from a private enterprise, say AIG, because we all know that they're too big to fail.

All you patriotic, Pro-America Americans would agree - LET THE MARKET DO ITS WORK. Say NO to commie schemes like this.

:-)

Re:Let the market work! (1)

DNeoMatrix (1098085) | about 6 years ago | (#25503855)

I thought it said that the COMPANIES were funding for the GOV'T to do something, not the other way around... so... what's this have to do with anything communist like?

Re:Let the market work! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509883)

Um... I read Pentagon is funding research to be carried out by contractors. Lousy troll either way, though.

Re:Let the market work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25504011)

Um... right... go back under your bridge troll.

Pointless, no wonder its underfunded (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | about 6 years ago | (#25503255)

If dudes sitting in lawn chairs can chart the paths of satellites in the sky, then any competent hostile power can easily do the same. Lets face it, satellites are giant sitting ducks. If we get into a shooting war with a powerful nation the first thing to go will be all the satellites.

Re:Pointless, no wonder its underfunded (1)

BlowHole666 (1152399) | about 6 years ago | (#25503425)

It is one thing to track something it is something different to hit a moving target. I know the US, Russia, and China can do this. However if a system can track an incoming missile what prevents the satellite from simply firing its thrusters and moving out of the way? Its not like the missile can turn very easily or maybe not the current generation of anti-satellite missiles.

Re:Pointless, no wonder its underfunded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25504215)

What is there to prevent a country like China from not having to shoot at the satellite at all? All they have to do is know the orbit. Then it's just a matter of launching a rocket into an orbit that counters that direction and exploding it into buckshot. I find it doubtful that a satellite could actually move enough to get out of the way of an oncoming cloud of shrapnel. Likewise no currently available active defense system could really deal with thousands of shards flying in its direction at orbital velocities.

Now if Lockheed Martin plans on making the first known working force field, then that would be something.

Re:Pointless, no wonder its underfunded (2, Interesting)

cowscows (103644) | about 6 years ago | (#25503715)

I agree. I think a much more useful line of research is making satellites harder to detect. There's not much that can be done to protect the big bright ones that are already up there, but I'd imagine that better technology has resulted in more capable satellites in smaller packages. Add in some fancy stealth-type technologies, and now we're talking.

Re:Pointless, no wonder its underfunded (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 6 years ago | (#25504109)

...first thing to go will be all the satellites.

No GPS sats? My iPhone will still triangulate from the cell towers!
So bring on WW3, I'm protected by the blessings of Saint Jobs!

"Mafiaa" [sic] tag? (1)

Jay L (74152) | about 6 years ago | (#25503381)

I guess someone had the same (lame, Friday-afternoon) reaction I did to the headline:

"Nice lookin' satellite you got there! Shame if something should happen to it! Ain't that right, Vinny?"

Light speed's too slow (1)

waveformwafflehouse (1221950) | about 6 years ago | (#25503435)

I would like to see what "detection, assessment and notification" of a laser attack entails.

Re:Light speed's too slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25503539)

Simple, just move the satelite out of the way at Ludicrous Speed.

Mirrors (1)

toby (759) | about 6 years ago | (#25503657)

Isn't that all that's needed to defeat a ground based laser?

I can see it now (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 6 years ago | (#25503851)

"Nice satellite you got here... be a shame if anything should happen to it!"
Wait, you mean that's not the kind of "Protection Service" we're talking about?

retroreflectors (2, Interesting)

at10u8 (179705) | about 6 years ago | (#25503937)

For some satellites hitting them with ground-based lasers [wikipedia.org] is the whole point of their existence.

Derris-Kharlan (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 6 years ago | (#25503963)

While this is interesting, I'd always thought about an orbital space city rather than a space station or satellites as the more interesting venture. The downsides fall toward expense and crazy scientists thinking they understand Earth's ecology better because they can develop a man-made ecosystem.

Consider first several small, modular bays in high orbit. Each is self-contained and can internally rotate for artificial gravity. Assuming horizontal rotation, "up" is the convergence toward the center vertical axis. Each "level" would use a flat platform reaching to the edge of the circular slice to avoid ground curve.

The central level would supply an inverter; to get to the "upper" decks, one would step into an elevator that raised half way, turned over, and returned to the opposite floor. One could simply jump and grab someone else's hand for the same purpose; note that due to dislocation from a moving surface, even once you've passed the center point your gravity goes the same way until you contact another surface long enough to be accelerated properly. Climbing a pole would be interesting, since you would slowly get lighter (your head and legs would experience opposing gravity), and then heavier relative to the target plane; the inverter would use this methodology, turning you about in the center of gravitation to provide the least stress.

Rotation would be driven by motors stationed at the perimeter of the spheres, not attached to a central pole. A central pole would have to be attached to the perimeter of the sphere. More on rotation later.

The highest deck would be called the "upper dome," and be capped by a giant transparent aluminum dome. It would be equipped with metal shutters that could close over the dome, protecting it from debris and shutting out light.

The lowest deck would be called the "Incubation Deck." It would house some sort of energy collection system, either agricultural (dirt, trees, gardens, possibly grazing animals), chemical (Fischer-Tropsch process to convert chemical fuel biproducts into chemical fuel), or photo/thermal (solar-thermal or photovoltaic power generation).

The two decks would connect by a large diameter tunnel along the central axis, called the Solar Transit Conduit. Inexact concave parabolic mirrors in the Upper Dome would collect light into the Solar Transit Conduit, which itself would be mirrored all the way down. The final reflection into the Solar Transit Conduit would be a convex parabolic mirror, to spread the light rather than concentrate it. The Solar Transit Conduit would use an intentionally inexact surface, to avoid continuously reflecting light off an effective concave parabolic reflector and generating a million degree beam of death; this surface would respond to heat enough to expand and contract, further warping and contorting, insuring that when a hot spot begins to form the beam is warped to spread the light rather than concentrate it further.

The exit point from the Solar Transit Conduit into the Incubation Deck would reflect the light cleanly away from the Solar Transit Conduit using a mirrored, pointed cone. The ceiling or "skyline" of the Incubation Deck would consist of a large domed mirror, again inexact and thermally reactive. This would spread light throughout agricultural and photovoltaic Incubation Decks. For "hot decks" such as solar-thermal or otherwise molten hot places, we don't care; blast the ground with a beam of pure energy.

Agricultural decks would simulate an ecosystem, complete with terraformed landscape, trees, ponds/lakes, rivers, plants, bees, fish, and herbivores. Used air from the station would pump into the Agricultural deck through lower side vents; air would be drawn off from higher, as CO2 weighs more than O2 so this air is more oxygenated by nature. Air being drawn out would be drawn through cooling coils and a filter screen to generate condensation and return water to the system via simulated rain.

Humidity and temperature in Agriculture decks would be monitored; excess humidity for the given temperature would be considered reasons to draw evaporated water out into collection tanks for general water distribution, or balance with dryer Agricultural decks. Excess temperature would trigger some shuttering of the Upper dome to reduce solar collection; or perhaps re-align one of the final mirrors to partially redirect collected light to a photovoltaic array.

Several of these units would have to be linked at once to provide counter-balancing for spin. Perhaps a minimum of two units in connection; more possibly in connection with at least two in operation.

Connected units could share resources as well-- water, air systems, power. The water system could double as a heat transfer system, linking large-scale exothermic and endothermic processes from different Incubation Decks.

This is all I have. The hard problem is finding a cold base to sink hot processes into; the station would literally have to be moon-sized with a cold center.

It's called a "machine gun" (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | about 6 years ago | (#25504541)

Reimplement the machine gun design for one of the early manned recon satellites. It had radar and eyeball sensors.

So much for... (2, Insightful)

DeadPixels (1391907) | about 6 years ago | (#25505827)

...the treaties against the "militarization of space." Seems like it might not be long until we've got people blowing up each others' satellites left and right.

Not with my money (1)

DeadlyBattleRobot (130509) | about 6 years ago | (#25506965)

This is exactly the kind of crap the US needs to stop wasting money on.

The 90's called, and they want to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25507053)

..why isn't their research being used?

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/taos.htm

Technology for Autonomous Operational Survivability...."TAOS is a technology demonstration satellite whose purpose is to implement creative techniques for autonomous operational survivability....the laser and radar warning sensors are providing data to users..."

And the tax payers want to know why we have to pony up more money to learn the same thing?

This isn't new. (1)

Jaazaniah (894694) | about 6 years ago | (#25508345)

I happen to know that a similar program aimed specifically tracking missiles from space has been underway for at least two years with a seperate favorite defense contractor in the desert. The working project title sent chills down my spine, but it's only an orbital tracker that relays to ground missiles. (supposedly) Project "Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle" or commonly referred to by its acronym.
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