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India Developing Vehicle To Knock Enemy Satellites

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the start-humming-the-music dept.

Space 178

Frankie70 writes "Star Wars are back in fashion. With perennial (and nuclear armed) foe Pakistan always teetering on the brink of political collapse and neighboring regional superpower China taking greater strides into space technology, India has announced that it is developing an exo-atmospheric 'kill vehicle' that will knock enemy satellites out of orbit."

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178 comments

Knock (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752718)

This headline made me think of D&D before anything else.

Re:Knock (4, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753204)

Luckily, very few satellites these days have "Wizard Lock" and or "Hold Portal" cast on them.

Re:Knock (1)

theJML (911853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754440)

Couldn't they just do this with a wish spell?

Re:Knock (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753708)

"vehicle which will knock satellites" made me think of a contact communication method was involved.

"Knock, knock."
"Who's there?"

Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (4, Insightful)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752738)

With everyone "testing" their antisatellite weaponry and creating ever more orbital debris, pretty soon there'll be so much debris up there we won't be able to keep any satellites operational.

China's test of a year or two back may have already generated enough debris to start a chain reaction, any more and we may definitely go over the brink to where nothing is survivable in low earth orbit.

--PM

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (5, Interesting)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753106)

There's an article1 about the military version of the Soviet Salyut space station, which flew as Salyuts 3 and 5 between 1974 and 1977.
Virtually no information was available about the military Salyuts until recently, when access was opened up to a full-scale training model at the Moscow Aviation Institute. Well, guess what--Salyut 3 had a machine gun. The station had a 23 mm rapid-fire cannon mounted on the outside, along the long axis of the station "for defence against US space-based inspectors/interceptors".

http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/spaceguns/ [fourmilab.ch]

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753176)

The thing is, 23mm is overkill. a simple 9mm round would work. Honestly make a microsat that can maneuver to the target and simply fire a 12 gauge )) buckshot shell from a short barrel single fire when it is in a high speed approach and it will shred the hell out of it's target. You could make them the size of a small garbage can and have your launch vehicle carry 20 of them into orbit.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753470)

It was also likely pointless, since chances are you would never see a killsat before it got its shot off. I've always assumed that gun was on there just because it was a military project and military guys want to put guns on everything.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754280)

The gun was there to research the feasibility of using one in a space environment. There are special thermal and lubrication issues in space that needed to be explored.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754536)

ha ha... he said "thermal and lubrication issues" needed exploring. If she is pretty I volunteer.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (2, Insightful)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753142)

Well, that is the least of any government's worries if the alternative is letting his enemy freely communicate, spy, command and bomb their positions as they wish. If you absolutely need to point out the responsibility of turning space (well, the earth's orbit) into a shooting gallery then put the blame where it should be put: those who started putting there military equipment/targets there and not the ones needing to take them down.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (4, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753404)

The thing is, it's not just military spacecraft that would be targeted. Assuming the ASAT rounds have the range, you'd see things like com satellites (even civilian ones--think Iridium), GPS satellites, maybe even weather observation satellites. In a full-blown war where it's drastic enough to start downing birds, you're going to hit anything that could possibly help your enemies and give you a better chance to survive.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754504)

The GPS [wikipedia.org] started out, still is and will never cease to be a military system. It's a military system which, just like the internet, has found quite a lot of civilian uses. Nonetheless, although civilian GPS clients have found themselves into the market it doesn't mean, for example, precision-guided bombs [wikipedia.org] ceased to rely on it to navigate towards targets. And if your enemy is using the GPS to drive bombs right into your targets than you can bet you will desperately want to take them down.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753396)

Wasn't there some talk of a garbage collection system?

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753562)

There's been a lot of talk about a garbage collection system.

Basically the talk revolves around why it's damned near impossible (or at least infeasible) because a destroyed sat sends a heckuva lot of tiny pieces flying in unpredictable directions hella fast.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754034)

Stop sayin hella.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

raphael75 (1544521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753818)

Wouldn't a giant magnet work, kinda like Katamari Damacy?

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753770)

Since the US is at least 20 years ahead of this, I would venture a guess that transatlantic-fiber is in place to bypass satellite needs.

Put your stinkin speed trap here [wikispeedia.org]

Buckshot orbital shooting gallery! (3, Interesting)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753802)

Any of the countries with space launch capability could ruin the party. It was pointed out years ago that a vehicle loaded with ball bearings can be sent around the Moon and back toward Earth, releasing a load of shrapnel which would sweep across all Earth-based orbits. Fortunately, space is big. Really big. So the damage would be spread out over time, depending upon how large the attack is.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

xeoron (639412) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753960)

Then we will be forced to, finally, work on actual means of cleaning up the debris... perhaps some form of roomba satellites, gravity bombs, an atmosphere tether that is charged to attract low orbital debris, electromagnetic katamari democracy shooting stars, .... I am open to suggestions, since I am out of silly ideas that sound appealing to me.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754146)

I am open to suggestions, since I am out of silly ideas that sound appealing to me.

Um... um... giant space wet napkin?

Using quantum mechanics to probabilistically erase the debris out of objective reality?

Sex bot?

Yeah, I know sex bot don't clean up teh orbits, but I'd worry less about space debris if I had one.

Re:Oh great, more orbital shooting gallery! (1)

Efreet (246368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754590)

Actually, its possible to shoot satellites as they're about to make a re-entry and be certain that any debris ends up hitting the earth within one orbital period. That's what the US did in the Burnt Frost test.

Its still perfectly possible for flying debris to hit another satellite before hitting atmosphere and burning out, but that's very unlikely compared to the risks of other methods of testing ASAT weapons.

Errr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30752740)

Sounds like a one-time use kinetic energy weapon would be suffice. A rod of (insert your favourite metal here).

Re:Errr. (1)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752772)

It's an inanimate carbon rod!

Re:Errr. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753226)

Carbon is not an metal, you insensitive rod!

Re:Errr. (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753986)

It's an inanimate carbon rod!

...you insensitive clod?

India announces a lot. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752744)

India and Russia both have this habit of announcing these awesome things, and then never actually doing them. If India and Russia would have done everything they said, India would have five aircraft carriers and a man on the moon, Russia would have mach 15 planes for everyone, and more.

Re:India announces a lot. (1)

RedTeflon (1695836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752930)

That reminds me, where is the flying car I was promised?

Re:India announces a lot. (1)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753212)

You mean like SDI?

We're building it... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753792)

You mean like SDI?

Hey, it's just taking a little bit longer than expected. But at least they can intercept some missiles now, and at varying stages in flight.

Re:India announces a lot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753252)

Seriously! Indian govt has these awesome plans which are never actually put into action!
though i'm an Indian still announcing such stuff without some solid backing is much more demeaning!

Not surprising (1)

charleste (537078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752752)

The technology is there. But I wonder: will they have to modify the software at NORAD to take into account Big Objects that get transmuted to A Bunch Of Little Objects? I am a geek: I'm thinking about software updates.

Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

zifferent (656342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752756)

Weaponizing space is a seriously bad idea. The US, Russia, Japan and China are not going to like this.

Re:Bad Idea (1, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752820)

When you have Jihadist neighbors like Pakistan, weaponizing space is a good idea.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753012)

Does Pakistan have satellites? They've had some put up for them, but it looks like it numbers a total of three that have been put up there, and it looks like they're all dead or abandoned now.

It seems more to me they're concerned about China.

Re:Bad Idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753198)

When you have Jihadist neighbors like Pakistan, weaponizing space is a good idea.

... because next thing you know, Pakistan will be raining virgins down on India.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753408)

China could just send its peasant-class armed with machetes into India to shred the population without firing a single shot into outer-space.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

JTsyo (1338447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753896)

China and India are pretty close in population. Don't think it's a big enough difference for them to just overwhelm with with numbers.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753232)

Quick reminder: The Pakistani government is actively providing support to the US in the War On Terror (TM). A lot of their recent instability has been their attempts to remove Al Qaida and other groups from their country. So they aren't so much "Jihadist" as they are "anti-Jihadist but ineffective".

The India-Pakistan conflict (which is probably the primary motivation of this) goes back to the 1940's, and have little to do with Al Qaida and its ilk.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753738)

True. However, their creepy intelligence agency, the ISI, which is arguably even more influential and less accountable than ours, has an unfortunate enthusiasm for unsavory groups.

At best, they have a penchant for using fanatics as cost-effective proxies. At worst, they are actively sympathetic to them(They are hardly alone in this, it isn't a huge secret that the CIA has had a major hard-on for every tinpot right-winger who promises to hate the commies for some decades now; but that doesn't really make India feel any better about it).

Re:Bad Idea (0, Redundant)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753768)

Quick reminder: The US has interests. Pakistan has interests. Sometimes those interests converge. Sometimes they don't.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753946)

Get your facts out of here you dirty terr'rist!

Re:Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753652)

Umm... Non sequitor alert here.

It is, unfortunately, true that Pakistan has nukes and (despite being our ostensible buddy) a fairly large and influential class of religious enthusiasts with a penchant for explosive politics.

However, there is absolutely nothing about that situation that is improved by spending a big pile of cash on whizbang space weapons. India and Pakistan are right next to each other. Even if Pakistan's team jihad decides to use missiles(rather than just putting a warhead in the back of a truck under a pile of something boring, or chartering a small cargo plane, or any other cheap, prosaic, and quite plausible method) this isn't going to be some "NORAD gets several minutes of warning while the ICBMs fly over the north pole" thing. This would be a very short range job. If anything could intercept in time, it wouldn't be grand space-based satellite killers.

As for Pakistani satellites generally; satellites are all kinds of useful, and it can be prestigious to have your own(and, if you need certain specific capabilities, you pretty much have to build them yourself); but basic GPS and GPS equivalent services, as well as reasonably high resolution images in a variety of wavelengths, are close to commodified. It isn't as though Pakistan is going to build the "JihadPS" satellite positioning system that India can then knock out. Anybody who doesn't have the cash to build their own vertically integrated defense complex is just going to use off-the-shelf GPS/GALILEO/GLONASS receivers and hope for the best. You think India wants to go knocking out some or all of those?

India faces some very real security issues, Pakistan among them; but the value-for-money in using satellite warfare to confront them seems absurdly slim, even by defense contractor standards.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754620)

You're looking too deep. The simple truth is this is a show of strength. A lot of military buildup is about intimidating your enemies into NOT attacking you. To be able to claim that you have weapons even in space is merely another factor to intimidate their enemies.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754162)

Pakistan is so close to India that the nukes from there don't need to go into space. An ABM system is not going to be very useful.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752944)

Weaponizing space is a seriously bad idea. The US, Russia, Japan and China are not going to like this.

China is already doing it. They demonstrated the ability to knock out a satellite similar to the GPS satellites a few years ago.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752946)

Why not? If you're allowed to weaponize earth, why not space? Is it some kind of holy shrine? As for the 'bad idea' part- Well they should have thought of that when they created weapons in the first place right? India is doing what it takes to protect itself from some sort of maniacal attack from the Amreicans and the ruskies who'll try to blame it on someone else.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753152)

Why not? If you're allowed to weaponize earth, why not space? Is it some kind of holy shrine? As for the 'bad idea' part- Well they should have thought of that when they created weapons in the first place right? India is doing what it takes to protect itself from some sort of maniacal attack from the Amreicans and the ruskies who'll try to blame it on someone else.

It's a bad idea because blowing up a few satellites may make low Earth orbit a field of debris dense enough that it is impossible to keep the other satellites intact. Once we cross a certain orbital debris density threshold, the debris will impact with satellites and create new debris faster than existing debris falls to Earth due to drag. I think that's called the Kessler Effect (someone correct me here). Once that happens, we may be locking the whole world away from space exploration and exploitation (like commercial communication satellites) for a long time.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753318)

Ok. Now think of it from India's point of view. If they see a possibility that they might not exist in the future, why should they care about future space exploration for other countries? This is simply another deterrent.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

werfu (1487909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753218)

Because space is for everyone and provides too much firepower ability. Placing a satellite the size of a school bus loaded with nuclear missile would lend it's owner with enough power to nuke most big cities in the world under 8 minutes. This goes completely contrary to non proliferation treaties. There's is also a domino effect. Almost no country in this world could survive on its own now. Everyone depends on someone else. If a third world war was to happens, the last things you want is to be alone. If every communication means goes down you won't be able to contact either allies or enemies. Einstein said: I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth - rocks!

Re:Bad Idea (1)

werfu (1487909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753296)

I forgot to say : Not only does it land the ability to nuke every important city in the world, but this almost without being detected. Current missile lunch detection system spot big rockets lifting-off. In space all you would need is a smaller missile being able to resist entry into atmosphere and guide itself while falling.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753392)

It's how you establish superiority, do something first and counter any attempt to do the same by anyone else. In other words a bit like 'king of the hill' or 'nuclear non-proliferation'.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753144)

Don't forget, the US already shot a satellite out of the sky. They tried to rationalize an attempt to get the satellite to hit water instead of land, but if you think it was anything less than a weapons test, you're being a bit naive. I was quite disappointed that this angle didn't get more play in the news.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Informative)

Cjstone (1144829) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753938)

The US has had ASAT capability for a while now, and has "shot down" way more than a single satellite. Our earliest ASAT systems actually detonated nukes in or near space. The first US hit-to-kill interceptor was in 1985, and was launched from a fighter jet. I think that test still holds the record for the only fighter jet to have shot down a satellite. In my opinion, the recent test was there to show that our standard weapons are capable of intercepting ICBM warheads. That test was strange, in that it took place at a relatively low altitude as far as satellites are concerned. The SM-3 missile can't reach a high enough altitude to knock down orbiting satellites, but it's good enough to nail vehicles reentering the atmosphere, and the test demonstrated that it can handle orbital velocities. So, basically, it wasn't an effective test of an anti-satellite weapon, but it was an effective test of an anti-ICBM weapon.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754310)

Don't forget, the US already shot a satellite out of the sky. They tried to rationalize an attempt to get the satellite to hit water instead of land, but if you think it was anything less than a weapons test, you're being a bit naive. I was quite disappointed that this angle didn't get more play in the news.

As far as I know the satellite you mentioned is, in fact, now out of the sky. Unlike the prior Chinese anti-satellite test or what the device in the article will do.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753172)

Space is already weaponized. The only difference is that now some factions are managing to develop ways to put their enemy's weapons out of commission.

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753250)

It's almost like we need a treaty or something [scienceforpeace.ca] . Unfortunately, certain countries, including most of the ones on your list, apparently want to deploy space-based weapons, and the current Outer Space Treaty [wikipedia.org] only prevents deployment of "weapons of mass destruction" there, such as nuclear weapons.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753340)

Weaponizing space is a seriously bad idea. The US, Russia, Japan and China are not going to like this.

Pot meets kettle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almaz [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753932)

It's also seriously easy. Missiles shmissiles, kinetic energy weapons are cheap and effective.

context (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754416)

You do not have it quite right.

The bigger picture is what counts. Russia, China, and India, and I suspect Japan, are all strongly tending to very deep cooperation. This is not due to some historical friendship!

On space stuff, I think of the recent economic policy announcements by the Russians, which puts an emphasis, not the biggest emphasis, but an emphasis on space technology, and in context nuclear powered space tech. And Russian and India just signed a nuclear deal that spits in the face of Obamba and happens to open up cooperation on light weight nuclear reactors. that means launchable reactors

Less clear is the Japanese plan for a SPSS. But again, context. Japan and Russia and Japan and China are busy making very friendly nice talk and deals.

You might note that the russian-chinese rail deal required actions between the two peoples that are unique in human history for them. so business as usual reasoning is best described as insane. sort of like congress:-)

Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752778)

By putting up thousands of fake satellites and thousands of smaller real, but redundant satellites.
.
But hey, the Indians need stimulus spending thought the purchase of unnecessary military hardware too. After all, look how well it's worked for us in the USA? :)

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752906)

Well, it is far too expensive to put up redundant satellites. The safest bet is to actually put up inflatable balloons which would have the same size as the satellite to be "Defended." If the kill vehicle hits a balloon, no appreciable amount of debris will be produced, unless of course the kill vehicle is an explosive charge.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753332)

If you assume satellites have to be large, yes. If you put up a few hundred smaller ones about the size of a coffee cup, scattered across a few hundred miles, aggregating their data dynamically, it's a different proposition.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753550)

Balloons don't leave the atmosphere. Satellites do. Balloons don't move very fast. Satellites do. Telling them apart would be trivial.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753800)

Really? I'm talking about inflatable structures in space, not in the Earth's atmosphere. An Inflatable structure surrounding a satellite would be moving at the exact same speed as the satellite, quite frankly it has no choice in the matter if it is to stay in orbit. The point of an inflatable structure is that it would be trivial to fit 10 of them into a small rocket, heck you could even include them in the payload bay of the rocket carrying the real satellite, although that would pose many issues of it's own.

If you have 10 inflatable structures in a 2000m-500m radius of a satellite, it would be significantly harder for a kill vehicle to determine which one is the real satellite. Especially if you add in minor electronics to generate noise and heat to mask the real satellites EMF signals(Infrared being one of the many.) The only way would really be visually, and even then, you could make the inflatable structures in such away that they have a very similar shape to the real satellite.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1, Troll)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753008)

But hey, the Indians need stimulus spending thought the purchase of unnecessary military hardware too. After all, look how well it's worked for us in the USA? :)

Apparently, someone failed their English class.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753216)

History, too.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753290)

Indeed? Explain please.

Re:Which will be immediately countered.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754260)

The U.S. will need to deploy these as soon as we can. We'll need resources and know-how. Some one call Tata.

Knock out of orbit? (4, Interesting)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752780)

You can't just 'knock something out of orbit,' like it's a porcelain vase on a mantelpiece. Orbits do not work that way! They're building a kill vehicle to blow up satellites.

They're still going to be in orbit, just in lots of little pieces.

Re:Knock out of orbit? (1)

valadaar (1667093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752860)

Depends on the orbit. If they hit the ones that need active boosting to stay in orbit, then yes, they will be knocked out.. eventually. Knock out without using the word orbit would be more accurate.

Re:Knock out of orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754144)

Also depends on the design and usage of the kill vehicle. If it is designed to hit the satellite on a return trajectory after reaching it's peak and hits from a direction counter to the orbital path, it seems to me the majority of the debris will have a shorter orbital lifespan than something hit with an upshot from behind.

Another way to make a "kill" vehicle is to have one that does it "softly". It just acts as a space tug, and nestles up and pushes sats until their own corrective thrusters can't do anything and their orbits decay. You think some military sats might have some gun or something to deal with this, but some kevlar balloons or something similar on the pushing kill vehicle might be effective enough to neutralize most projectiles and perhaps make the process of shoving easier. Such a weapon means orbits remain fairly debris and litter free, yet this design wouldn't be able to act on short notice and would require a sizable fuel payload and lots of time in order to do anything. I wouldn't put it past the U.S. or Russia to have something like this, but it's a hell of a lot more expensive than the more typical one-shot-one-kill variety.

Re:Knock out of orbit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753208)

Actually yes you can just knock them out of orbit. All you need to do is speed them up or slow them down just a little and they will seek an now orbit radius but if there is continued change in speed they will either fly off into open space or slowly enter the atmospher and eaither burn up or skip off the atmosphere into space.

The Bright Side (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753766)

Look on the brightside. If they do end up screwing up space, and fullscale wars among satellites do occur, we can always market it as a new form of entertainment.

"Battlebots In SPACE!"

We could then all take turns designing new battlebot satellites to fight one another. Mine would have a long arm with a buzzsaw on it... and lazers and one that shoots bees (in little space suits)...

Re:Knock out of orbit? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754284)

If the projectile arced, and hit the sattelite from above, it could cause it to enter the atmosphere and burn up.

Good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30752782)

Sadly it seems that a military space race might be exactly what the world needs to get behind space tech.

Go Missiles! (2, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752810)

Can't regular missiles do the job?

Won't somebody think of the missiles?

Outsourced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30752812)

And they will build it for 1/10th the price of American workers. Except they will get the requirements wrong and literally build an "atmospheric kill vehicle"... leading to the wide spread destruction of Earth's atmosphere...

Re:Outsourced (0, Troll)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752966)

But they will also take your job while they are at it.

Ready set fight (5, Funny)

RedTeflon (1695836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752840)

I personally cant wait for Dish & Direct TV to start battling it out by shooting down each others satellites.

Re:Ready set fight (2, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753420)

I personally cant wait for Dish & Direct TV to start battling it out by shooting down each others satellites.

And the only way the public wins, is if they BOTH are successful.

Re:Ready set fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753888)

And you think that hasn't already happened?

Obligatory knock knock joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30752968)

Indian exo-atmospheric 'kill vehicle': *knock* *knock*
Jim @ International Space Station: "WTF?! We didn't order any take-out! Goddamn annoying fuckards! *flushes* That'll teach ya!"
Bob @ ISS: "Holy fuck! You took 'em out with only one flush!"
Jim @ ISS: "Yeah... Had vindaloo for lunch."

Re:Obligatory knock knock joke (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753506)

Indian exo-atmospheric 'kill vehicle': *knock* *knock*
Jim @ International Space Station: "WTF?! We didn't order any take-out! Goddamn annoying fuckards! *flushes* That'll teach ya!"
Bob @ ISS: "Holy fuck! You took 'em out with only one flush!"
Jim @ ISS: "Yeah... Had vindaloo for lunch."

I knew I wouldn't have to scroll too far to see anti-Indian racism. Sad but true.

Re:Obligatory knock knock joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754140)

'Indian' is not a race, No more than American is..

The problem is (4, Insightful)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30752988)

The problem is, even if you knock down their satellites they're going to retaliate on the ground in your largest populated cities. And they don't need their satellites to do that.

Re:The problem is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754044)

This is a war-time weapon, to be used to indirectly incapacitate the other side, and presumably the other side is already trying to go after your largest cities. Similar to how blowing up ammunition factories won't directly prevent them from invading your cities, it will have a major impact on their ability to do so. Modern armies use satellite recon extensively, and also use them to communicate in real time, reducing the "fog of war" to a great extent.

Re:The problem is (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754078)

I think the idea is to disable communications at a critical moment while the ground troops/navy/air force fight it out. presumably this won't be a first strike weapon, it's more likely to be used after hostilities begin and before escalation to all out nuclear clusterfuck.

Wonder if ... (0, Troll)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753014)

this was developed by some disgruntled IT employee.

Hello, this is Bob your friendly local IT representative, how my I help you?
Yes, my computer broke after spilling coffee in the cup-holder. Can you fix it?
* facepalm
* launches satellite displacement missile
Ok, just give me a sec... ****CARRIER LOST****

I saw this movie (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753044)

They plan on taking 9 year olds and putting them in bright yellow 1 man spacecrafts with a paylod of missiles and some laser capabilities.

They will then land/dock with the ISS, accidentally fire a pair of missiles, and return to Earth. There will then be a parade with a ridiculous amount of confetti.

I don't know what inspired them, but its genius.

Hope you hit the right satellite (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753048)

Cue classic scene from Spies like Us [youtube.com]

Though this could never actually happen, because well, MTV doesn't play music videos anymore.

Enemy? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753206)

What defines that a satellite is "enemy"? Launched by a now-enemy state used for anything, like controlling the gps network, monitor climate or tv transmission? Or something passive like watching over your territory and transmits to your enemy sensible information? Or something more active like... mmm destroying your satelites and not sure if can be done anything else aggresive at this moment.

Don't worth to worry about the 1st kind (unless you are the aggressor), the 3rd kind is, for now, just you, and the 2nd one, well, there are plenty of probably neutral satellites looking down to all world (probably most sensible areas can be spotted by google earth, no need to launch your own satellites because of that) to worry in particular your enemiy ones. Looks like this kind of satellites announces that you are ready to take the aggresive role, dont look so particulary useful for defense.

Nukes? Why always with the nukes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753578)

All these billions spent on projects yet nobody reads Heinlein.
Go grab a copy of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.
You don't need nukes when you have sufficient g's.

Why use a Missile? (1)

mschirmer (1619591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30753342)

We already have the technology to destroy something using a high powered laser beam. Why use a laser to guide a missile when you can just shoot it down with a laser, all still from within space? Seems a little obsolete to me.

The threat is real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753364)

I live in the state of Punjab, which shares a border with Pakistan. The villages closet to the Pakistan territory are always at the receiving of rocket fire, mortars and indiscriminate open firing at night from the Pakistan side. As always, Pakistan denies it. 99% of the times, the Indian Border Security Force does not retaliate and just issues a notice against the attacks. Considering the threat we have from our neighbor, any measure that strengthens our defense is always a good idea and is welcomed. Rest assured, India never restores to the attack first approach (from history).

frist 45ot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753494)

Kessler Syndrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30753964)

I guess no one in India has ever heard of Kessler Syndrome [wikipedia.org] .

Shooting "down" satellites would likely cause just as much long term harm to the country launching the missile as the country losing the first satellite.

I would be intereseted to know if any astrophysicists have estimates on how many satellites have to be blown up before space is completely useless. I would think stastics calculations involved would be fairly simple.

Tiin, Do, Ek, FUD (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 4 years ago | (#30754626)

So ho hum. After peeling off the unnecessary, inevitable and stilted rationalization for violence (hey, I enjoy war as much as the next soldier, but not with imaginary friends) I've decoded the message here. The article is intended more for flag waving than for technology announcement. In fact I believe this to be agitprop, simply propoganda to stir up any targets and make them believe this might be possible.

Oh, and possible it is. China had their turn recently. As for the US:

[ASAT SPIN]

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASM-135_ASAT [wikipedia.org] )

Starting in 1960 the Department of Defense (DoD) started a program called SPIN (SPace INtercept).[1] In 1962, the United States Navy air launched rockets from an F-4D fighter as part of Project Hi-Hoe with the objective of developing an anti-satellite weapon.[3][4]

The United States developed direct ascent anti-satellite weapons. A United States Army Nike Zeus missile armed with a nuclear warhead destroyed an orbiting satellite in May 1963.[5] One missile from this system known as Project MUDFLAP and later as Project 505 was available for launch from 1964 until 1967.[5] A nuclear armed Thor anti-satellite system deployed by the United States Air Force under Program 437 eventually replaced the Project 505 Nike Zeus in 1967. The Program 437 Thor missile system remained in limited deployment until 1975.

[ASM-135A]

  (from http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/asat.htm [astronautix.com] )

Anti-satellite missile. Country: USA. Status: Retired 1986. Department of Defence Designation: ASM-135A. Popular Name: Air-Launched Miniature Vehicle.

The ASAT air-launched anti-satellite missile was developed by Vought in response to a 1977 Air Force requirement for a missile that could be launched from an F-15A fighter yet was capable of intercepting and destroying enemy satellites in low earth orbit. Four of five tests were successful before the program was cancelled in 1988.

To launch the ASAT, the F-15A pilot had to fly a precise launch profile. At the calculated pull-up point, flying at Mach 1.22, he had to pull into a 3.8 G, 65 degree vertical climb. The missile would automatically release itself at 11,600 m altitude, followed by first stage ignition. After the first stage burned out and separated, the second stage propelled the Miniature Homing Vehicle (MHV) into space in a near-vertical trajectory on a collision course with the target. The second stage was equipped with a hydrazine attitude control system and spin table for the MHV. The second stage would orient the MHV toward the oncoming satellite (as determined by pre-launch orbital tracking data), spin the MHV up, and then release it. The MHV homed on the satellite, which was approaching at 8 km/second, and destroyed the target by ramming it.

1985 September 13 - Western Test Range DZ -. First US ASAT intercept Agency: USAF. Apogee: 550 km (345 mi). Successful ASAT intercept test; rammed and destroyed the Solwind P78-1 satellite.

  Manufacturer: Vought. Launches: 5. Success Rate: 100.00%. First Launch Date: 1984-01-21. Last Launch Date: 1986-09-30. Launch data is: complete. Apogee: 1,000 km (600 mi). Liftoff Thrust: 0 N ( lbf). Total Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Core Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft). Total Length: 5.40 m (17.70 ft). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Boost engine: SR75. Cruise Propulsion: Solid rocket. Cruise engine: FW-4S TEM640. Cruise Thrust: 27.400 kN (6,160 lbf).

        * Stage1: 1 x ASAT-1. Gross Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Motor: 1 x LPC-415. Length: 4.30 m (14.10 ft). Diameter: 0.46 m (1.50 ft). Propellants: Solid.

        * Stage2: 1 x Star 20. Gross Mass: 301 kg (663 lb). Empty Mass: 28 kg (61 lb). Motor: 1 x Star 20. Thrust (vac): 27.135 kN (6,100 lbf). Burn time: 28 sec. Length: 1.50 m (4.90 ft). Diameter: 0.50 m (1.64 ft). Propellants: Solid.

A modified Boeing AGM-69 SRAM missile with a Lockheed Propulsion Company LPC-415 solid propellant two pulse rocket engine was used as the first stage of the ASM-135 ASAT. The LTV Aerospace Altair 3 was used as the second stage of the ASM-135.[10] The Altair 3 used the Thiokol FW-4S solid propellant rocket engine. The Altair 3 stage was also used as the fourth stage for the Scout rocket [10] and had been previously used in both the Bold Orion and HiHo anti-satellite weapons efforts.[3] The Altair was equipped with Hydrazine fueled thrusters that could be used to point the missile towards the target satellite.

Note that these are off the shelf hardware modified to parameters necessary to meet the flight profile.

LTV Aerospace also provided the third stage for the ASM-135 ASAT. This stage was called Miniature Homing Vehicle (MHV) intercepter. Prior to being deployed the second stage was used to spin the MHV up to approximately 30 revolutions per second and point the MHV towards the target. The MHV was the only stage custom designed and built for ASAT.

So, India says they're going to develop something the US built from available parts and flew successfully 25 years ago. They could buy the parts and put it together from the plans, saving a whole lot of development cost. This is not a trivial issue for India. This looks just like Reagan's virtual war on the USSR, where beyond-cutting-edge technologies were "developed", in order to "build" many different vehicles, using hidden but seemingly endless sources of "funding". Gorbechov ran the union broke trying to keep up *just in case*, but knowing almost all of it was bullshit.

And speaking of off the shelf vs. developing, already available and recently shippable due to ATF losing their court case against amateur rocketry, and subsequent changes to the max power allowed by the FAA, you can mail order power plants from Loki Research (https://blastzone.com/loki/store.asp?groupid=52120034052913 ) to build something like an AGM-135. The Altair second stage could be built from a 152mm x 39" 27 kNs O motor. The 1.5 foot diameter first stage could carry 7 152mm x 96" 80 kNs P motors and using remote ignition by radio replicate the restartable dual thrust capability of the ASAT/AGM-135. Motors plus fuel plus on board electronics plus radio plus hazmat truck shipping, figure USA$20k and expect change back. So pardon me if I'm not overly impressed that you say you're developing what I can buy the biggest part of with my MasterCard and whose flight profile has been accomplished from both air and ground launches.

Way to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30754710)

India: A country with a miserably low GDP, lots of basic sanitation problems and a high illiteracy rate - but it MUST have a system to knock down enemy satellites. Way to go, guys!

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