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Space & Astronomy

Pentagon to test space-based weapons by 2023

By T.K. Randall
March 17, 2019 · Comment icon 8 comments



Could space lasers soon become a reality ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
US defense bosses have requested $304 million to fund the research and development of orbital weapons.
Such weapons, which include particle beams, high-powered lasers and new types of missile defense systems, are reportedly vital to countering the threat posed by China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

The Pentagon is aiming to conduct two studies - one to determine how effective a satellite-based laser would be at disabling missiles that are still on the launch pad - and another to investigate the use of particle weapons to disrupt missiles using streams of subatomic particles.

It is understood that the research could lead to the production of a working, deployable platform.
"We've come a long way in terms of the technology we use today to where a full, all-up system wouldn't be the size of three of these conference rooms," said one senior official. "We now believe we can get it down to a package that we can put on as part of a payload to be placed [in] orbit."

"Power generation, beam formation, the accelerometer that's required to get there and what it takes to neutralize that beam, that capability has been matured and there are technologies that we can use today to miniaturize."

Not everyone however is in favor of the idea of placing anti-missile systems in orbit.

"The deployment of interceptors in space would be a disaster for strategic stability," said disarmament and threat reduction policy director Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association.

"To ensure the credibility of their nuclear deterrents, Russia and China would likely respond by building additional and new types of long-range ballistic missiles as well as missiles that fly on non-ballistic trajectories. Russia and China could also take steps to improve their ability to destroy such US interceptors, thereby greatly increasing the threat to US assets in space."

Source: Defense One | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Gary Meadows 4 years ago
Humans. Ugh.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Grandpa Greenman 4 years ago
Sigh..... This is not what I want my tax money going for. We start having a war in space that will be the end of satellite communication, the end of internet. We'll end up back to the stone age or worse.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Gary Meadows 4 years ago
That sounds just awesome, actually.
Comment icon #4 Posted by AllPossible 4 years ago
I honestly believe that if every nation with space technology worked together years ago instead of seeing a threat everywhere there would have been an ISS but on mars where astronauts could live.. We spend trillions a year being scared of each other. World shouldn't be this way but it is
Comment icon #5 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
Such a shame we are not going the right way to find peace. Blowing each other up and producing more weapons is not the way to live together in peace. The want of power among the rulers of our planet will be the downfall of mankind, i just hope they do not take the planet and the rest of its life forms with them
Comment icon #6 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
So what happened to that treaty against this?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
Trump?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Dark_Grey 4 years ago
"Hey we have been testing space-based weapons for almost 20 years but now that it's getting harder to keep this a secret, here's a press release to get you comfortable with the idea."


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