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Hey look, just for Slashdot! (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317273)

Seems the author of the article reads Slashdot. Anyone remember back when the "official U.S. position on space weapons" story broke? As I recall, there was a torrent of comments (especially from those who failed to read the document) suggesting that the space policy was that only the U.S. was going to have access to space. Some even went as far as to suggest that just because it's not in the "official" document, that it was the actual policy regardless of what the public part of the document stated.

Well, here's The Space Review's take on it:

2. The latest United States "space policy" declares that it will "deny access to space" to those players it deems hostile, which translates to pre-emptive attack on non-US space objects and their supporting ground infrastructure.

Western news dispatches from Moscow, reporting on Russian official complaints about the policy, stated that it asserted the right "to deny adversaries access to space for hostile purposes," and that it claimed the right (some say "tacitly") for the US to deploy weapons in space. Vitaly Davidov, deputy head of the Russian Space Agency, complained: "They [the US] want to dictate to others who is allowed to go there."

But the actual policy document makes no such claim and displays no such intent to "deny" access. The Russian anxiety, echoed on the editorial pages and in news stories around the world, is apparently based on some over-wrought page 1 stories in US newspapers, written by people too careless to actually read the original US document and subsequent official US government clarifications, or too eager to misinterpret it in the most alarmingly stark terms.


On another topic, the author makes a very good point about the 1967 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. i.e. The same treaty that is credited with preventing the development of the Orion nuclear pulse propulsion vehicle. As item 9 points out, the Soviets had continued nuclear space development in violation of a treaty that had been signed specifically to prevent them from doing that. The Polyus ASAT Platform [astronautix.com] that was launched on the back of the first Energia in 1987 (and thankfully failed to make orbit) was intended to have nuclear weapon capabilities. The translations of the Polyus diagrams show that it would have carried "Nuclear Space Mines" to target and destroy missiles and satellites.

So much for that treaty. :-/

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317435)

As item 9 points out, the Soviets had continued nuclear space development in violation of a treaty that had been signed specifically to prevent them from doing that.

See, that's the beauty of nuclear weapons. Once you have them, other nations are really no longer in any position to lecture you about developing them -- unless of course they're willing to enter into nuclear war over it.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317979)

Given that most Western nations have a moderately skilled intelligence community there is plenty of time to enact non-aggressive measures to stop nuclear weapons proliferation.

It takes a very long time to build the infrastructure to produce even one weapons grade nuclear device, then actually build it, test, maybe build a few more improved ones, then maybe do that whole process over for the means to deliver it much further than your immediate neighborhood. That and there is a very small number of people who actually know enough to get it done, although the relative density of leading edge nuclear scientists offering up Wikipedia links on Slashdot leads many to believe otherwise. Even if you can kidnap or smuggle in a real nuclear weapons expert, and somehow hide that from the above mentioned intelligence communities following his every move, his knowledge is likely so narrow in scope that you'd have to kidnap another dozen of his peers before you could get started.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318143)

I never understood that argument. Not every country has to go through the Manhattan Project stage again; the knowledge has already been discovered. They can theoretically buy/steal materials (enriched uranium) or parts (missile casings and launchers).

As for the other oft-used argument (not yours) that they would not be able to reach their primary target (problably the USA), or could be countered by them -- getting the ability to target a nearby enemy (probably Israel) might persuade other nearby powers to exert pressure on us not to go all cowboy -- after all they're the ones that risk retaliatory damage.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

LifeWithJustin (969206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318461)

Test?

Let me think about this for a moment.

Ah yes that's it.

Bad Scientist dude: Excuse Mr. I'll-blow-my-self-up Dude, would you be so kind to drive this truck near that US base right there and just hit this button.

Mr. I'll-blow-my-self-up Dude parks himself near the "Green Zone"

*Boom* *fizzz*

Bad Scientist dude: Huh? I know nothing of what just took place. I'm just trying to work on this stuff so that we have clean energy. [mumbles] Damn, I think I needed to *insert random science that I'm not going to pretend to understand* to make it more deadly.[/end mumbles]

Test? Riiiighhht... like that has to be done like "we'd do it."

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318989)

Bad Scientist dude: Huh? I know nothing of what just took place. I'm just trying to work on this stuff so that we have clean energy.
During the reign of the Shah, he was strongly encouraged [washingtonpost.com] by the US to develop nuclear energy. This would allow Iran to export more oil, which is to this day the Iranian regime's primary source of income. Is it really as far-fetched as the media makes it out to be that they would want nuclear power?

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (3, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318231)

The problem is that both the US and Soviets had an interest in maintaining their population of workers. Starting, or even fighting a war that involved loss of 10% of the population wasn't considered to be reasonable.

This is far, far less of a concern in other parts of the world where citizen and martyr can be used interchangably.

A serious consideration in the US attacking civilian targets in Soviet Russia was that the civilians were not exactly taking an active part in government. Do you really think that even in the face of a nuclear attack on Israel there would be a massive US retaliation on civilian targets? Especially if the attacking force was a stateless body like Hizbollah? Further, if a post-attack retribution bill was introduced into the US Senate, would a majority vote to wipe Iran off the face of the earth? Or maybe just try to find a few important targets?

Iran has nothing to fear from a US retalitation, and we have spent the last 20 years proving it. We either stop them on the front end, or we will do ... nothing. And they know it.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (2, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319499)

We've had enough media hysteria about "nookyoolear" that we don't even build nuclear power plants anymore. I think there would be sufficient public outcry following a nuclear attack (even just a "dirty-bomb") to release the nuclear arsenal. And politicians always do whatever they think will get or maintain power. Only a few clear-thinking military officers could stand in the way.

Which brings to mind the important question: "What should we do if attacked domestically with nuclear weapons by a non-state actor*?" And also, "What if it is Israel who is attacked?"

*and do such exist with that capability or is it merely convenient for the states involved to create the fiction?

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317445)

So much for that treaty. :-/

Yeah, all of 'em.

It seems from the story, and just pragmatism, the best option is to hope the folks who have the best weapons are the most friendly types. If the cold war is any lesson, the people with the most freedom create the best economic engine, and thus in turn the richest state, and then in turn again, the best weapons.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318341)

"If the cold war is any lesson, the people with the most freedom create the best economic engine, and thus in turn the richest state, and then in turn again, the best weapons."

FTA:

"Well, there's no official acknowledgement of them--that proves they exist in secret" (as if the absence of evidence were transformed into evidence of presence).

If I recall, that the 'Russians' had weapons that weren't detectable nor acknowledged and that was the justification for many of the cold war ramp-ups in defence spending (because they must have found some way to hide them from detection). That should have been a major cold war lesson. Sucks when the same logic is applied to US anti-sat weapons.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318709)

"Well, there's no official acknowledgement of them--that proves they exist in secret" (as if the absence of evidence were transformed into evidence of presence).

If I recall, that the 'Russians' had weapons that weren't detectable nor acknowledged and that was the justification for many of the cold war ramp-ups in defence spending (because they must have found some way to hide them from detection). That should have been a major cold war lesson. Sucks when the same logic is applied to US anti-sat weapons.


I'm not sure I follow your point, please elaborate. Are you arguing that the absence of evidence is evidence of absence? That's on approach guaranteed to be wrong when analyzing secret military projects.

Or that the USSR didn't have secret programs? We found just the opposite after the USSR collapsed - they were trying to keep up with us, on the B2 and other similar programs and wound up bankrupting themselves trying to do it.

Or that we don't have secret projects anymore?

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318763)

the 'Russians' had weapons

To be pedantic for a moment, I believe you mean 'the Soviets'. It's a bit more precise and kinder to the general population of Russia. (Many of whom were very much opposed to the totalitarian Soviet government.) Sorry for the interruption. Carry on.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

notque (636838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317571)

The intention of weaponizing space is clear. It's an attack system, and any and all such systems should be banned, and destroyed on launch.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317865)

Destroyed on launch how?
Presumably, by someone who has space weaponised so they can make attacks with their (OMG) attack system on other people's attack systems. And, of course, banning doesn't work if space isn't weaponised, because a ban with no enforcement is a ban of no effect.

(Yes, I'm feeding a troll, hence the AC. But it's such a lame troll, I feel compelled to.)

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318203)

Actualy it does. It works under the considition that air based lasors that we are attempting to build works. We can deny any country access to space by this weapon alone if it works as advertised.

The situation would be something like this, Several of them would be deployed to hot spot areas. Some would be in patrol mode while other would be in standby mode. When we detect a launch, boom, it doesn't hit space and drops on the country that shot it.

It isn't like some peace loving country is going to just secretly build a weapon and a delivery system then for no reason launch it. Even the fanatics would make representations of their hostilities in public and we would have an idea of the threat. We would also get bonus points if we sold these weapons with limited capabilities to Russia and EU countries.

Unlike Reagon's starwars program, We don't need to enter space to do this. All we need to do is have friendly countries close by to allow us within effective range of the lasors. And if we cannot get close enough, I suggest building more powerfull lasors and detection systems that give us earlier warning from a farther distance.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318315)

After reading this I find your nick oh so apropos.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (0, Troll)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318323)

Well the Chinese then should just zap all our satellites from space then, because clearly many of our satellites are an attack system, and any and all such systems should be banned, and destroyed on launch.. Would you go for that? Or is U.S. somehow excempt because we are "God's country" or we have "freedom" and so on?

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318785)

There is this persistent notion among some people that negotiation, international sanctions, and legal actions (i.e. lawsuits and the court systems) can resolve all of the worlds problems when in fact history clearly demonstrates that the opposite is the case. To be more specific, if you pass a "law" saying that all such systems are banned and that they should be "destroyed on launch" then who is going to enforce that and how? The enemies of the United States do not care about our laws and they have called out their challenge to a contest of arms in a fight to the death. There will be no enforcement of "destroyed on launch" unless you are willing to go to war and destroy it yourself by strength and force of arms. The civilized society that we enjoy here in the west is built upon the implicit threat of violent force to back up and maintain that system. The system, such as it is, cannot exist without that threat and therefore it is also trumped by the very same threat which is why it is sometimes necessary to fight or else give in and there is really no way around that.

I Disagree With Your Assessment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317735)

Seems the author of the article reads Slashdot. Anyone remember back when the "official U.S. position on space weapons" story broke? As I recall, there was a torrent of comments (especially from those who failed to read the document) suggesting that the space policy was that only the U.S. was going to have access to space.
You mean this story [slashdot.org] ? Well, as I recall, the bulk of the conversation was about your Nuclear Space Drive [slashdot.org] conversation and also your trite arguments about who hates Bush and whatnot [slashdot.org] .

I think you have this misconceived notion that Slashdot has one liberal mentality. But you're wrong, we're not a homogeneous mixture like an alloy that ends up at a mean of ideas. Instead, you read a story and you see posts that are well written and make good points. Those are moderated highly and deserve rebuttals. Things that don't deserve rebuttals are troll statements or people accusing you of stupid things (like you often receive and debate for some reason).

While you may have seen one single attitude (which you provided no posts), I saw people questioning the logic [slashdot.org] , people pointing out that he phrased it in an evil sounding manner [slashdot.org] anda few people defending it [slashdot.org] .

If you don't like Slashdot, don't read it. And if you're going to accuse a mentality, present evidence for it and maybe limit it to discussions that are relevant for it. It's weird but people on Slashdot love to hate each other and accuse them of being idiots who don't read articles. I just think you don't agree with a lot of people, AKAImBatman--to which I respond: deal with it.

Re:I Disagree With Your Assessment (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318321)

Why don't you drop the charade and log in? I think we all know who you are, doc.

Well, as I recall, the bulk of the conversation was about your Nuclear Space Drive conversation

Funny thing. I posted a "yay, nuclear space drive!" post, and yet practically none of that thread is about nuclear space drives. In fact, it would seem that nearly the entire thread attempts to prove how "Bush [is] throwing away the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty like he did the Geneva Conventions". Heavy on anti-Bush comments, low on actual attempts to talk about nuclear space drives. Wonder why?

I think you have this misconceived notion that Slashdot has one liberal mentality.

Oh no. In fact, I know there are a great many people who agree with me. However, when a large portion of Slashdot comes down on a particular side, people take notice. And it's what gives Slashdot a poor reputation as being reactionary. Especially when wild and accusatory comments like this [slashdot.org] or this [slashdot.org] are made at +2 by respected members of the community. Members who seem to have forgotten that people have differing opinions, rather than all being secret spies and collborators for Evil Entity X(TM). And they stir up quite a ruckus in their efforts, leading others to believe that the pro-Evil Entity Cabal really exists.

Or just as bad, threads that suppose [slashdot.org] that the actual policy of the President and the government is different from what the official document said.

Mr. "AC", you wish to accuse me of not accepting that others have opinions. (Which is particularly amusing when you link to a post [slashdot.org] where I state, "You have your opinion and I have mine.") Yet you fail to recognize that there was a LOT of posters who fell on the side of opposition to the space policy. A LOT of posters who now have a chance to reevaluate that position. Should we just ignore the progress made on the topic, or should we leave the topic closed? After all, this very article is a continuation of that topic.

What do you think? Should we just all stick our heads in the sand, or should we face these issues head on? See if we were correct? See if things change? See if our own opinions change?

I don't know about you, but I know that my own opinions have changed quite a bit over time. Not on this particular issue, mind you, but on many other hot topics. For example, I may have never liked the Patriot Act, but I did once argue that our government had (amazingly) not abused it to date. Well, a recent Slashdot story proved me wrong. (Yes, bolded so that you may gloat in silence.) While there was no intent to abuse it, it was abused because it was a form of power. And as we all know, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Now, shall we all reevaluate our positions on this particular situation? :)

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (1)

Spliffster (755587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318625)

I thought you are a reporter/professional writer. you should tell from which source the quote is, please.

Re:Hey look, just for Slashdot! (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318771)

I have problems with this article.

1. To a foe, our ability, which he admits, to blind or jam satellites, might as well be the ability to destroy them. Literally destroying them is certainly worse from an environmental perspective, but tactically, blinding them is just the same in the middle of a war, and one certainly ought to expect other countries (including those with less military resources who feel threatened by the US) to attempt to gain the same tactical ability to deny satellite access.

2. "But the actual policy document makes no such claim and displays no such intent to ?deny? access." One of many blatantly false claims in this article. I did "actually read" the policy, and it states:

The United States considers space capabilities -- including the ground and space segments and supporting links -- vital to its national interests. Consistent with this policy, the United States will: preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space; dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so; take those actions necessary to protect its space capabilities; respond to interference; and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests

3. Space-based weapons *do* have a major advantage over ground-based ones: there is no boost phase. They have the potential to give *much* less warning and reaction time. Consequently, they're more destabilizing. It's the same reason why short range (tactical) ballistic missiles were banned: they reached their targets too quickly. Also, is he really so daft as to believe that the Bush adminstration *hasn't* been trying to create "usable" nuclear weapons? There's a new statement from an "anonymous administration official" (and sometimes named ones) every month or so about things like nuclear bunker busters and the like.

4. "Most discussions leave the impression the Russian system simply doesn?t exist." Undoubtedly, the author is talking about the S-400/A-135 network. It's certainly a threat to even our best warplanes (think a patriot missile battery on steroids, with a much longer testing history), but with the 100 km upper range for the biggest missile configurations (if memory serves), it's not going to be shooting down satellites, even low ones, any time soon.

5. "Equating a boost-phase anti-missile weapon (based at sea, on an aircraft, or even in space) to an anti-satellite weapon overlooks a fundamental design difference, their guidance mode." -- Apparently this person has never heard of THAAD. Not all of our systems are boost phase.

6. Yes, and the Istrebitel Sputnik was a response to the US's SAINT program ('60-'62). Was the SAINT program a response to anything? Not really. We discontinued it, but it was too late by then. We started it. Now, it was long enough ago that arguments about who started it are pretty moot, but still, if you want to pick hairs, like this person does...

8. "The enormous advantage of an orbital system (even if launched only hours or days before making its attack) is that simply by selecting a larger booster, the weapon can be sent into nearly any orbit of potential interest, at any altitude" -- No, that's the advantage of a ground-based system. Having to enter orbit is an extra delay and takes extra energy. The lowest-energy, fastest way to intercept a satellite at 400km? Be below it and launch 400km straight up. Being in orbit allows for incremental homing of the killer satellite, providing a simpler, more reliable, but slower kill. And who knows what he's thinking about when he writes about changing the orbit with "the moon's gravity". If he's talking about a lunar transfer orbit, he must be ignorant of the huge amount of time and delta-V needed for such a maneuver; it'd be foolish. If he's talking about the lunar perturbations of satellites already orbitting at GEO, that takes years. I have no idea what he's thinking. Anyone have any clue?

9. Very low orbits are unstable and decay rapidly. That's very different from putting something higher up where it will stay there.

11. "and after having done so, and exploited that advantage, who will be around to ?punish? them?" This is basically arguing that diplomacy never works. It acts like powerful nations have nobody to punish them. BS. What China cares about, more than anything else, is its precious economic growth. they'd back down in a heartbeat if they actually thought the world would impose trade barriers against them. Russia's GDP is tiny, so they're much more vulnerable than China. Iran's is half the size of Russia's, and it goes down from there. So, unless he's going to claim that China doesn't believe in MAD (i.e, they'll attack if trade sanctions are imposed), and has a fondness for the idea of its cities and the cities of its biggest trading partners in ruins, his argument makes no sense.

My personal favorite (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317305)

12. Other nations are justified in building "space weapons" because the US has done so, or is about to do so.

This argument never seems to work both ways. It always justifies any other country's space weapons, laying the blame on something the US has done, may do, is thinking about doing, or is merely accused of doing in the mass media. But it never seems to justify any US hardware-development response to actual space weapons deployed by other countries, from the cannon mounted on a Soviet manned space station, to its operational killer satellites and orbital nuclear weapon launchers, to the recent Chinese anti-satellite missile test. The US did not respond in kind to those weapons because they made no military sense--there was no mindless reflex, but instead a rational assessment of security requirements. Those assessments usually can be made regardless of the actions of other parties, especially regarding the level of required space weapons.


Unfortunately, too many people use the "US does it" excuse to justify the nuclear proliferation of other countries (read: Iran). I feel this is an accurate counterpoint to such an argument.

Re:My personal favorite (3, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317787)

Unfortunately, too many people use the "US does it" excuse to justify the nuclear proliferation of other countries (read: Iran). I feel this is an accurate counterpoint to such an argument.

Um... That was the whole point of MAD. If one side did it, both had to do it to ensure no one used it. It may not be moral, but it is logical to create any type of weapons in response to the fact the other side has done so.

However, this in itself in the past was a benefit to the US because it can afford to build such technologies whereas the other sides could not afford it and simply force them into submission by outspending them. (See: Regan vs the Soviets)

Sure, Iran could make nukes, but economically they are pointless to them other than nuclear energy since using them would entail the extermination of 90 million Iranians by a US retaliation response. Besides... The could inflict more political damage and gain so much more with using proxy groups like Hezbollah than actively taking on the US directly in a nuclear arms race.

However, China on the other hand... Well, we are seeing for the first time in 50 years a nation that could soon simply outspend us on the military front.

At sometime in the 2020s to 2030s it won't be us chiding others for doing things because we did them but rather trying to justify our new weapons because "China had them first."

Re:My personal favorite (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318113)

Sure, Iran could make nukes, but economically they are pointless to them other than nuclear energy since using them would entail the extermination of 90 million Iranians by a US retaliation response. Besides... The could inflict more political damage and gain so much more with using proxy groups like Hezbollah than actively taking on the US directly in a nuclear arms race.

So if they do make some nukes, what's to stop them from giving them to one of these "proxy groups"? If they ever get traced back to Iran, the Iranians can say, "Those nukes were stolen last year. We didn't want to tell anyone because it would have caused a panic."

Re:My personal favorite (1)

Retric (704075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318909)

Keep a public list of countries to be nuked in the event of an attack. Let it be known you will nuke the fuck out of them in the event of an attack regardless of who caused this attack. Now watch those countries try and prevent such attacks on you.

See: Cuban missile crisis. Basically, the US says to Russia if they attack us we attack you do you really want them to be able to attack?

PS: When it comes to MAD it's not a question of "are you evil" but "are you sufficiently evil to be left alone".

Re:My personal favorite (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318589)

However, China on the other hand... Well, we are seeing for the first time in 50 years a nation that could soon simply outspend us on the military front.

China's military budget for FY2007 is about $44.94 billion. The US military budget for FY2007 is $532.8 billion. (source [yahoo.com] ) Eventually, China may outspend the US, but they need about a 1250% increase to do so.

Um... That was the whole point of MAD. If one side did it, both had to do it to ensure no one used it. It may not be moral, but it is logical to create any type of weapons in response to the fact the other side has done so.

Good point, but false on two counts:
1) The whole MAD excuse for Iran to have nuclear weapons doesn't fly when the US has had them for over 50 years and hasn't nuked Iran yet.
2) The argument for MAD assumes that both sides care about assured destruction. While the US doesn't want to be destroyed, I can't say the same for Iran (or at least it's Muslim based leadership). Many people believe that the rulers of Iran WANT Armageddon as signals the Muslim equivalent of "The Second Coming". From NPR [npr.org] :

It is said that in the 10th century, the 12th and last Imam of the Shiite branch of Islam disappeared. He is said to be hidden by God and will reappear at the end of history to lead an era of Islamic justice. But lately, actions by -- and rumors about -- Iran's president have renewed interest in the 12th Imam.

Centuries ago, this holy person is said to have disappeared, hidden by God, but kept alive since then, to reappear at the end of history to lead an era of Islamic justice. The belief, which helped to inspire Iran's Islamic Revolution 27 years ago, diminished in importance over the years.

Now it has found renewed inspiration in Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A better article can be found HERE [washingtonpost.com] , but I didn't think you'd give it credit considering the source.

So the threat of MAD does not apply to a country that has no fear destruction.

Re:My personal favorite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318979)

Yeah, a suicide-bomber doesn't care too much about MAD.

Of course, all muslims are not suicide-bombers. Of course, there are benevolent teachings in the muslim religion. I would never discriminate or harm someone just because they are muslim. However, when it comes to policy and military strategy, i think it wise to consider all muslim nations to be giant suicide-bombers.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319291)

So the threat of MAD does not apply to a country that has no fear destruction.

I don't think you see the real point. They could only kill 10 million tops with a single hit in a single American city (unless of course they coordinated multiple attacks) and could possibly destroy Israel in a single blow or two.

Then the retaliation would result in again... 90 million Iranians dead. Followed by complete occupation of several million US soldiers that were drafted in a war that is supported by the American public (whether they have a choice in the matter is another question) and a constitution removed and interment camps for all person with a middle eastern dissent in US occupied territories.

Perhaps, it is really what they want, but I can't really see how it provides anyone with the progression of their religion if they are all dead.

Re:My personal favorite (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317811)

My favorite? From 7,

Sure, the weapons existed, but they didn't work, so they were nothing to worry about.
Best laugh I had in a long time. My father who worked for Raytheon for almost 40 years would beg to differ. At least since the 80s, Kremlin knocks out one of ours, we knock out one of theirs. These so called experts who write about this stuff are no more reliable than the Kremlin polit bureau machinists who wanted us to believe otherwise (see 2,6,9, and 12).

In Soviet MIR, telescope nukes you!! I keed! I keed! Or do I...

Please, for the love of God (3, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317323)

No jokes about solar powered sharks with frikin' lasers in orbit.

Re:Please, for the love of God (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317567)

Didn't you sort of just make that joke?

In any case, my need for a shark-reference in here has been fulfilled. Happy days!

Re:Please, for the love of God (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317799)

Well, it doesn't really sound like a very intelligent design in the first place.

Re:Please, for the love of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18319003)

But in Soviet Russia, space shark lasers you!

*runs and hides*

not much (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317363)

Even if we do have some, we dont have many. They couldn't launch too many of these things without someone leaking it.

Re:not much (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317701)

If you really want to know about this subject the best place to look is not the splash press releases, the sensational science reporters, the cool art work and "artist's conceptions". The best place to look is the loading dock. Check the procurements of various contractors, check the announced developments, and, check the one greatest security leak in America: The Congressional Record.

Re:not much (2, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318233)

I'm employed. I don't have that much free time on my hands. Besides, if we all hung around the loading docks, it would get pretty crowded.


That's what reporters are paid to do for us.

Re:not much (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318473)

And do a poor job of it; Trade journals though provide information to those who can understand them. An educated read of janes.com for example yields far more info then any paper. Specialized journals in metalurgy, chemistry, building materials, textiles, etc especially when cross refrenced with let contracts that are "By Law" published in the Congressional Record. I also have a job, but, I find such far more entertaining then televison, which is why I have the time.

Overly Ideal is Bad in Any Case (3, Interesting)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317367)

Overly ideal treaties, laws, bans, etc. are just bad.

While banning the militarization of space is a nice idea, it would be nearly as difficult to implement as the demilitarization of our oceans.

Existing treaties that are overly idealistic have had the bad side effect of limiting or halting the development of other projects (as mentioned before: Orion).

I say, militarize, it will happen, then defend. If the U.S. and Russia were to be the only ones to abide by a non-militarization of space, eventually, the other players, India, China, and Japan, will gain the supremecy in space and eventually on the ground. Space war will be the new air war.

Re:Overly Ideal is Bad in Any Case (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318353)

Existing treaties that are overly idealistic have had the bad side effect of limiting or halting the development of other projects (as mentioned before: Orion).


While the nuclear test ban treaty ultimately shelved Orion, launching an Orion-type craft from Earth is still a bad idea due to the resulting nuclear fallout.

Obligagory Overlords post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317373)

I for one welcome our new satellite-killing overlords.

Who cares how new a technology is if it works? (3, Informative)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317391)

FTA:

But since the 1985 air-launch satellite intercept, a project cancelled by Congress (see "Blunt arrows: the limited utility of ASATs", The Space Review, June 6, 2005), there is no evidence that a new satellite-killer technology has been developed

So what? Who cares if no new ASAT technology has been developed if the old ones work just fine? The Soviet orbital ASAT program predated the US's F-15 ASAT program by over a decade, and it worked.

Re:Who cares how new a technology is if it works? (2, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317641)

Probably because there's no working ordnance left?

If the program got terminated in 1985, that means the weapons left from it are at least 22 years old. It strikes me that there's a fair chance that few to none of them even work any more, and that we don't have any way to produce more on a moment's notice. This exact situation is discussed in Tom Clancy's book "Red Storm Rising", in fact.

However, there's another thing: the current US military wants weapons they can deploy as fast as possible (the TacSat program is something of an example of this). Hunting down a trained F-15+ASAT pilot, hauling them to the right location for an intercept, and then launching is inefficient and slow compared to "select satellite to kill, launch intercontinental ASAT from pad". If, say, the Chinese are using their comm satellites to support an invasion of Taiwan, you want to kill them right the hell now, not in 12 hours.

Re:Who cares how new a technology is if it works? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317681)

> This exact situation is discussed in Tom Clancy's book "Red Storm Rising", in fact.

Red Storm Rising is about as factually accurate as the Anarchist's Cookbook.

Re:Who cares how new a technology is if it works? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318101)

Actually I would bet that no working ASATs are left. The first stage was a SRAM. The SRAM was removed from service because of ageing problems. The solid fuel was cracking...
Also the ASAT couldn't reach geosync so it wasn't useful for taking out most communications satellites.

Re:Who cares how new a technology is if it works? (1)

Phanatic1a (413374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318327)

Probably because there's no working ordnance left?

No ASM-135s? Sure, I'll buy that.

No Soviet killsats sitting around in storage waiting to be strapped to the top of a suitable rocket and launched into the proper orbit? That, I don't believe.

And in any event, activating a production line to build a few missiles isn't the same thing as "developing a new technology."

Terminating other sattelites (3, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317395)

You don't need anything near this sophisticated. Just send up a few barrelfuls of used pinball machine parts and let orbit take care of the rest. Of course, that's assuming you don't need to use space for the 50 years or so it will take them to disintegrate either.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (2, Insightful)

Kineticabstract (814395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317583)

Why would your "few barrelfuls of used pinball machine parts" EVER disintegrate? What's magical about the 50 year mark that would cause metal parts to spontaneously fall apart? Just curious.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317621)

He probably meant that its how long it would take their orbit to degrade to the point of re-entry.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (2, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317995)

The problem with that is that it's unrealistic. Debris from the Chinese test is expected to remain in orbit for thousands of years. Pop enough satellites in a major war, and space may truly become unusable for decades or centuries. I suspect that if it came down to it, we'd soft-kill enemy satellites. The ABL is going to be ready for use in a couple of years, and it might be suitable for taking out an enemy satellite without shattering it.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (2, Informative)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318221)

For the uninformed, "soft-kill" means to disable the electronics via a huge burst of radidation or heat, or to disable the solar arrays so they have no power source, or to disable communications antenna's or all of the above. Without power, electronics or comms they are just a hunk of space junk. It's a much better way than leaving lots of debris in orbit from using a kinetic kill but a kinetic kill is a lot easier and pretty much 100% successful.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318603)

Space could be "cleaned". Think of lobbing large objects up, not putting them in orbit, to "take the hits", knocking other debris out of orbit and back to earth, or something not unlike a huge net.

Theres a fair amount of research going on on the subject. It's pretty much a given we're going to need a way to deal with space-debris, both man-made and natural.

Re:Terminating other sattelites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318289)

wouldn't be surprised if the Libyans did just that, supposing the USA made a bunch of Plutonium-powered satellite weapons

Well crap... (4, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317413)

There go my plans to make a life-sized replica of the Death Star!

Re:Well crap... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318039)

Psssssssstttttttt... what do you think the Moon is? Huh? Huh? That's why there all these "conspiracy theorists" claiming the Moon landings were faked... wink, wink... nudge, nudge...

Re:Well crap... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318429)

Come on, we all know The "Moon" Does Not Exist [revisionism.nl] !!!!

Re:Well crap... (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318531)

Dahak would prefer that you not spread his little secret around.

Time travel is possible, and NASA has it (3, Funny)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317477)

Forget all those press stories from scientists currently around that say time travel is impossible [foxnews.com] .
We now have proof that NASA and the US Military have it.
As clearly started in this article, from a guy in NASA, the US Military is talking about going back in time by 7+ years and put a missle defense system in Czechoslovakia.

Re:Time travel is possible, and NASA has it (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317573)

Yes. I hear that the contracting company who will build it also built the tsunami wave generator now operating in the Indian Ocean.

Interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317479)

I love the

2. The latest United States "space policy" declares that it will "deny access to space" to those players it deems hostile, which translates to pre-emptive attack on non-US space objects and their supporting ground infrastructure.
line in the story.

Doesn't this also translate to Teleommunications satellites??? (North Korea I believe has like 1 satellite in orbit right now for telecommunications)

Cause god damnit we are the only ones that should have access to the Playboy channel!

Item 5 is not a correct statement. (2, Insightful)

foxxlf25 (672758) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317503)

Item 5 is just wrong. The current weapon technology (NMD) to shoot down incoming MIRV's are designed to target the warhead after it has already past the stage of burn and been released. The key issue is determining the fake warheads from the real. In space (the target point of impact) is also the hardest to determine fake from real. The sensor packages and analysis of that data is the critical piece to making them work correctly. And heat trails is not part of that. Heat trails for targeting are only used in anti-missile tech designed to hit the rocket shortly after launch. Yes, we are developing some of those but again, those are not the ones people are concerned could be converted for satellite targeting.

Re:Item 5 is not a correct statement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317711)

Why would they waste time modifying a sensor system to hit a target that is in a known orbit? It's not like the satelite is going to be flying an evasive/eratic course. Killing satelites is as easy as having some fast-moving object intercept its orbit. If you can 1)locate the satelite and 2)put objects in orbit, making said object collide with a desired target is just a matter of time.

Item 5 IS a correct statement. (5, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318015)

It's talking about a boost-phase [cbo.gov] anti-missile weapon.

Re:Item 5 is not a correct statement. (3, Interesting)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318303)

Trying to hit the warhead AFTER it has re-entered and is using decoys is exactly the WRONG time to hit it. You want to hit it BEFORE it is released from the booster if at all possible. It's a bigger target to hit, you hit it and you got all the warheads. Technology does exist to distinquish decoys from real warheads but it's not 100%. Killing the wrong target can ruin your day. Currently ASATs use several different technologies to find the target, not just the heat (IR) signature. What is used, when it us used and how it is used classified.

Space based defense system may not be necessary (1)

nontrad (773342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317517)

Watch ABC Nightline, ABC news, and Good Morning America about the US Ground-Based Missile Defense program. The news pieces are supposed to air the week of the 19th.

I'm all for poking fun at tinfoil hatters... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317561)

But half these myths contradict the other half.

First, it says putting missiles in space is expensive and slow "Even planning a space-to-space attack can take hours or days or longer for the moving attacker and target to line up in a proper position."

But wait! The Soviets "demonstrated the high reliability of the operational Soviet 'killer satellite'". Not only that, but there is an "enormous advantage" to orbital systems.

Also "They could even use the Moon's gravity to surreptitiously slip into the high-altitude orbits of key US observation, communications, and navigation satellites." Only if the government continues to cut the junk-tracking budget, otherwise any "junk" moving strangely would be noticed pretty quickly. Also, based on the orbit of the junk that's been around since the dawn of the space program, the Moon's gravity does not cause sudden major orbital changes, and I would suspect that with no other propulsion, the Moon's gravity is not enough to prevent the orbit of a "stealth" satellite with no boosters from decaying.

Re:I'm all for poking fun at tinfoil hatters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318903)

Also "They could even use the Moon's gravity to surreptitiously slip into the high-altitude orbits of key US observation, communications, and navigation satellites." Only if the government continues to cut the junk-tracking budget, otherwise any "junk" moving strangely would be noticed pretty quickly.


Not if it was stealthed. Piggyback a small stealthed ASAT payload on a legitimate launch, do your burn when the US radars aren't looking, and you're off to the moon.

Also, based on the orbit of the junk that's been around since the dawn of the space program, the Moon's gravity does not cause sudden major orbital changes, and I would suspect that with no other propulsion, the Moon's gravity is not enough to prevent the orbit of a "stealth" satellite with no boosters from decaying.


No, the moon's gravity doesn't cause major orbital changes in low to mid-Earth orbit objects. However, if you have lots of time to do the transfer, you can save a lot of fuel by going into highly elliptical orbits and "tacking" on lunar gravity. Orbital mechanics is counter-intuitive in many respects, difficult to explain and visualize, and we're still figuring out some of this stuff. I've been in the industry for over 20 years and still defer to the 133t gurus on this. The point is to slip a stealthed ASAT into high orbit (geosync or the orbits used by GPS) and park it by the target. Then, when the war starts, it takes out the sat.

Oh, and there are concepts for how to take out a satellite without making lots of debris:
- inflate a big metallic balloon in front of it, cutting off communications
- EMP the sucker, frying the electronics
- spray foam all over the sensors to blind it
- mangle/cover the antennas, making it deaf and dumb
- spray opaque materials on the solar panels, reducing the power input
None appear to have been attempted. Yet.

Prediction (0, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317593)

The article seems to fly in the face of the left's beliefs. I predict many anti U.S./Bush screeds.

No, I'm not trolling or baiting. Just a prediction.

Re:Prediction (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317699)

> The article seems to fly in the face of the left's beliefs.

Yes, slanted articles are often like that. I wonder if the Space Review is an extension of the National Review.

> I predict many anti U.S./Bush screeds.

Congratulations on being the first to bring up Bush.

Noy sure about this one... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317601)

References to the "latent antisatellite capability" of the embryonic US anti-missile system in Alaska are somewhat disingenuous since Russia has a deployed anti-missile system with launchers around Moscow and in Kazakhstan, with much the same capability and nobody seems to complain. Most discussions leave the impression the Russian system simply doesn't exist.

Yes, it exists and has existed for decades, however, it was explicitely allowed under the ABM-Treaty [wikipedia.org] . The US was allowed to build such a system for North Dakota but I'm not sure if we ever followed through with that. However, a national system was what the treaty intended to prevent, which it did until we decided to withdraw from the treaty in 2002.

Safeguard (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318051)

We did, in fact, build such a system [wikipedia.org] . It consisted of a bunch of nuclear-tipped SAMs, plus cueing radars, etc - 60's era technology was not sufficiently accurate to do anything but get the interceptor in the general vicinity of the incoming - hence the need for nuclear warheads. My impression is that the system wasn't considered very cost-effective.

Myth #13: The Rebels' attack plan is overestimated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317659)

Commander #1: We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?
Governor Tarkin: Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.

still living the cold war (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317663)

FTA

One final example is from Russian complaints in recent weeks about US plans to deploy anti-missile systems in Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovakia split into Czech Republic and Slovakia back in 1993. He meant the Czech Republic.

Talk about fact checking.

Re:still living the cold war (2, Funny)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318585)

Or fact Czeching.

Carl Sagan (0)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317673)

I remember Sagan's comments on Reagan's "star wars" program. "They want scientists to make something in space that can shoot down nuclear warheads using lasers. As scientists, we believe we can make it, and it will sound something like this: 'vzerrremmm! zzzzzzzoooommmmaahhh! phhhhhhhewwwwwwbanggggg!' Should be easy...."

Or something to that affect. Someone google it....

Re:Carl Sagan (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317717)

That can't be right. The quote didn't even have the word "billions" in it once, it can't be Sagan.

The Cold War wrote (3, Interesting)

theolein (316044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317679)

They want their Soviet Union back.

The article is part fact and part of the same kind of tit for tat idiocy that brought and perpetuated the Cold War for over 40 years. "The Americans did this", "The Russians so totally did too" kind of crap that is this article is just painful to those of us who lived through the red scare bullshit of the Cold war. Not only that but the article tries to paint Russia as still being the Soviet Union. They talk about anti ballistic missiles being based in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is and has been independent since 1991. It leases the old Soviet manned rocket launching site at Baikonur to Russia, but it, along with the Ukraine and Byelorus destroyed all of its Soviet era nukes in the 90's, and no longer hosts any strategic Russian military equipment.

Re:The Cold War wrote (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318075)

"The Russian statements are so preposterous...The technological flaw is simple: missiles launched from Czechoslovakia, say, cannot ever hope to intercept missiles launched from Russia against America"

The author jumps to the intercontinental missle scenario. If he bothered to look at a map he'd see that much of Russia (i.e. St Petersburg) is within range of intermediate range missles fired from European sites. With the Baltic states itching to join NATO and Poland already in the club I don't blame Russia for feeling uneasy.

Re:The Cold War wrote (1)

Domini Canes (797151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18319469)

Errr, Baltic states are already in NATO. Have been there for some time now.....

Re:The Cold War wrote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318157)

UN Ambassador from the US: The Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up?
UN Ambassador from Russia: Yes, that is what we WANTED you to think! (evil laugh as he pushes the button to reinstate communism and revive Lenin)

Yeah, sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317713)

There's no smoke without 3...2...1...FIRE!

Space and War (0)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317727)

Most wars are fought over resources. Hitler needed Leibensraum. The Japanese needed oil and raw materials, so they took China and Indonesia. Very very rarely are they fought for other reasons.

So rather than deploy weapons into space to defend terrestrial resources, why not get our resources from space? The cost to do either are pretty much the same, even using horribly inefficient defense contractors, and would benefit the same industries. One will result in a less secure world, and the other will result in a more secure world.

Re:Space and War (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317965)

And, as a bonus, there can always be an accident where 5000 tons of iron are accidentally dropped on Teheran at mach 30 after a failure in the atmospheric reentry system.

Methinks you're smoking something (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318079)

So rather than deploy weapons into space to defend terrestrial resources, why not get our resources from space? The cost to do either are pretty much the same

The costs are pretty much the same? I'd really like to see the cost analysis on that one. I strongly suspect that you pulled that "estimate" out of your nether regions.

Rail guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18317763)

When I hear about rail guns accelerating objects so fast they would not remain solid when fired in the lower atmosphere and such reseach not being deemed useless but instead being continued I reconned that nuclear bombs are now a thing of the past. If the US would face a real worthy enemy in war it would send up jets which would dive from the upper atmosphere and fire mass so fast that on impact the effect would be like being vaporized by a small but sizable meteorite without any radiation from an old fashioned nuclear bomb. I think any investments being done in nuclear military tech are just about rewarding money to money contributing friends, and strategically unimportant from now on.

Space Defense? (0, Flamebait)

ks*nut (985334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317855)

Not since the Reagan administration has this country (U.S.) been so up to its eyeballs in the militarization of space. Mr. Oberg may be very adept at tiptoing around the real issues, but I don't think anyone can deny that the U.S. is hell-bent on denying access to the free use of space by anyone designated as "hostile."

Are we supposed to be surprised that clandestine programs are not splashed across the headlines of publications and web-resources that, through the Patriot Act and other anti-Constititional devices, are mere shells of what they used to be? Yes, the U.S. is working on laser anti-satellite weapons and they will put "killer satellites" in orbit, if they are not there already. Can I produce a web site or newspaper article that names programs or gives details on how these programs will be enabled? Of course not - read the definition of "clandestine."

I guess that if there isn't a well established trail of evidence, then these programs simply don't exist and are therefor "myths."

We have met the enemy...

Re:Space Defense? (1)

dmcooper (899820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318137)

Isn't that the same argument that the Bush administration offered for failing to find WMD's in Iraq? "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." I think Rummy said that IIRC. In any event - I would hope that we beat everyone else to space with those weapons.

Re:Space Defense? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318483)

"I guess that if there isn't a well established trail of evidence,..."

You will presume it exists anyway.

Re:Space Defense? (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318695)

I think you hit the nail on the head with your final sentences. Anything is supposition unless backed up by testimony from a relevant expert or actual factual evidence. If these programs were already in place, most people would have a good understanding of what was up there. Have you read about the hobby group that tracks satellites in their spare time. They have even found the "stealth" or black sats that the US has put up there.

Why in God's name would Defense bother with the tremendous expense of lasers in space just to shoot other sats?? Don't you understand that the China test of an anti-sat missile into space was a simple feat accomplished decades ago?

Satellites have a very predictable trajectory, and so blowing them up from the ground is easy. Nuke ICBMs are totally different in every respect, and a laser blasting one up when it pops through the atmosphere would be a high tech miracle that's not been achieved yet. The ICBMs travel very fast and don't have predictable patterns for flight, so you need something to acquire and launch and detonate within a few minutes' time. Anti-sat from the ground is EASY.

Shorter Space Review... (5, Insightful)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18317987)

This article is highly amateurish and just about content-free. Shorter "Space Review":

  1. Myth: The US already has satellite killers.
    The Space Review: No they don't! (no citation given)
  2. Myth: The US wants to deny space to those it considers hostile.
    TSR: No they don't! (no citation given)
  3. Myth: The US is planning to place weapons in space for the purpose of ground attack.
    TSR: No they aren't! (no citation given)
  4. Myth: The US ballistic missile defense systems have the capability to shoot down satellites.
    TSR: So what, the Russians have the same capability!
  5. Myth: Tests of space based BMD systems also are preparations for an ASAT capability.
    TSR: Let's confuse the issue by only talking about boost-phase BMD intercept!
  6. Myth: The Russians have declared a moratorium on ASAT weapons testing.
    TSR: No they haven't! (no citation given)
  7. Myth: The Russian's "killer satellite" never worked very well.
    TSR: Yes it did! (no citation given)

I stopped reading at this point. This whole article is nothing more than a fact-free propaganda screed. I can't believe Slashdot even bothered to post it... on second thought, yes I can.

Sean

Re:Shorter Space Review... (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318443)

But what you didn't post was how some of the Myths also have no evidence.

Basically the article is telling me there's no proof for either side of these claims. But it's just enough information to bring the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork.

Re:Shorter Space Review... (1)

sean.peters (568334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318651)

You make a good point - where do the "myths" themselves come from? Is anyone really saying this stuff, or are these just convenient strawmen for the author to knock down? Some citations on the "myths" would have come in handy too.

Without any supporting evidence, this whole article is just some guy's opinion.

Alan Parsons Project (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318135)

bah forget your namby pamby satalite based lasers
what you want is a big MOON Laser
it doesn't say anything about those now does it?

How about bouncing a Death Ray of the mirror they left up there on the moon's surface during the 60's? (I wonder how many power stations you'd need for that to stay coherent)

Get rid of NATO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18318175)

NATO should've gone out with the USSR. It has served it's purpose and is done. Now it is just a form of military welfare for Europe, an antagonist for Russia kept up by decrepit ex-Cold War drones, and a source of leverage for the US in a part of the world that isn't that important to us anymore. It is a huge waste of money that the military has become dependant on.

Fun with reality (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318263)

But since the 1985 air-launch satellite intercept, a project cancelled by Congress (see "Blunt arrows: the limited utility of ASATs", The Space Review, June 6, 2005), there is no evidence that a new satellite-killer technology has been developed.

Oh no? HAARP [alaska.edu] can, according to people who work for the project, and according to the person who first showed that this project was feasible, push portions of the atmosphere into space to a sufficient degree to interrupt satellites. I found out about this from a highly paranoid documentary called HAARP: Holes in Heaven? [amazon.com] which had a lot of unproven schlocky nonsense but also had some VERY interesting commentary from people actually currently working for the HAARP project. I won't go into it too much but the biggest cheese they had on video was cross-signaling more strongly than I've ever seen. He would be asked a question about whether the project was dangerous and he would say no, but his whole BODY would actually rock his head into a "yes" and he would be nodding. When he talked about technical issues, you could see him almost become a different person as he talked about something he believed in.

Anyway, put that aside for a moment...

The US is planning to deploy space-based weapons (including nuclear weapons) to attack other objects in space and on the ground.

The article says this is infeasible. What? That's a bunch of crap. There are two arguments given for this. One is "Even planning a space-to-space attack can take hours or days or longer for the moving attacker and target to line up in a proper position." That's only true if you have a small number of weapons, and if they don't use a laser or maser weapon. We have both laser and masers up to significant levels of power output.

The other is that it is expensive. So? Since when has the US government displayed an unwillingness to unnecessarily spend taxpayer money?

We all know that space-based weapons are possible (the soviets are well-known to have actually built killer satellites which work, and the article references this fact several times) and desirable (even if they are not effective against ground-based targets, which has never been proven, they are useful against space-based ones) so why do we think that more of them will not be built? That is patently ridiculous.

I, for one... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318271)

....welcome our orbital overlords.

Deadliest Space Weapon (2, Funny)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318285)

Deadliest 'Space' Weapon - MySpace.com :)

Two Too Many (1)

airship (242862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318571)

Doesn't the author of this list know these basic Internet rules?

"Each Internet list must have only 10 elements."

"The title of each list of 10 elements must begin with "Top Ten...""

Re:Two Too Many (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318855)

yeah, the author is obviously doomed to failure.

Cartoons eh... (2, Funny)

SohCahToa (1038480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18318645)

> This goes double for nuclear weapons: putting them into space on a permanent basis was last taken seriously in the Sunday comics in the late 1950's.

i vaguely remember snoopy and woodstock launching a nuclear weapons platform into space to help stop lucy from pulling the football out from charlie brown
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