Re: Anti-Satellite Weapons (was S.D.I. lives?)
Thu, 4 Sep 1997 21:51:07 -0400 (EDT)

<| A recent article circulated on an Internet Newsgroup indicates that the US
<| Department of Defence has received a request from the US army to allow
<| to test their latest laser weapon MIRACL on an orbiting satellite.
<| It seems that the in the firing line is MTSI-3 (Miniature Sensor
<| Integration Satellite).......

I heard a short blurb on NPR concerning this.  Many experts are crying that
this demonstration of our ability to destroy satellites will force other
nations to develop the ability, too.   The tone of many of their reports
sounds as if this is the first time an anti-satellite weapon (ASW) will be
used.  It is not.  

Although I can't site any hard evidence, I am almost sure the Soviets
destroyed at least one of our satellites during the cold war.  I can't
remember if they did it from the ground or in orbit, but they did it.

We have had the ability to destroy satellites in LEO with the ASAT missile
mounted on an F-15 since the mid eighties.  ASAT, also known as PMALS
(Prototype Miniture Air Launched Segment), is a two stage rocket that homes
in on the heat of the satellite.  It is under the Space Defense Program of
the USAF Space Command.

ASAT is released from the belly of the F-15 at 80,000ft after a rapid ascent.

For photographs of the ASAT and the F-15 check out pgs 134,135 of 'The Great
Book of Modern Warplanes.'  ISBN: 0-517-63367-1.

Many who have read Tom Clancy's 'The Cardinal of the Kremlin' published in
1987(?) probably smiled when they heard the recent news.  I read the book a
year after it was released and browsed through it a few days ago.  Clancy
extensively detailed the entire anti-satellite laser weapon program at White
Sands a decade ago under his classified project name of 'Tea Clipper.'  In
the book he also detailed a similair Soviet facility in Kazakhstan.  Clancy
is reknowned for alluding to black programs in his novels. 

Anyone know of any other anti-satellite programs?  I remember the Soviets
were scared to death of the Space Shuttle's potential as an ASW.

John P. Kavanagh
Buffalo, NY

Stellar Link Online -- Explore outer space on the Internet.

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