Space weapons

Simon over at Dossing believes that weapons in space is ‘utter balloney’ and will never happen. I disagree, the motivation is there and the goal is too big a prize not to achieve. There are lots of possibilities besides the lasers or missiles Simon suggests. I did like Michael Goldfarb’s piece in the Weekly Standard in August where he outlines a number of possibilities for weaponising space.

Among the weapons the Air Force might deploy are space-based lasers, a space plane capable of delivering a half-ton payload anywhere in the world in 45 minutes, and the “rods from god.” The rods are currently just a concept–and have been since the early 1980s–but, if the myriad technical and political hurdles to deployment could be overcome, the system could represent a tremendous leap forward in the military’s ability to destroy underground, hardened facilities of the type that have allowed Iran and other rogue states to violate the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty with impunity.

Rods from God is a rather interesting phrase isn’t it? Can the technical problems associated with this type of technology not be overcome Simon?

And it should be noted that the Bush administration has started work on this area. See this CDI piece, and this Air Force PDF on ‘Counter space’ operations.

2 Responses to “Space weapons”

  1. simon says:

    I had a big long reply and i lost it so here i have to write it again.

    Rods of god is indeed an interesting phrase. The christian right are certainly in the marketing department. But what they are basically kintic energy weapons. Basically these are going to be hypersonic scramjets. They fly at such high speed that when they hit a target they are travelling at such a high speed that they in part massive amounts of energy to the target. (think fast car crash) Destroying it. Scramjets were tested last year.
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/research/HyperX/ramscram.html

    As theses are air breeding jets they will be required to fly with in the atmosphere and not from space. So these rods of god will be ground based systems not space based systems.

    The only project that the CDI piece mentioned is Starfire Optical Range. Which sounds cool but is in fact an adaptive optics system (which is cool :) ) . Basically it is a system to improve telescopes by removing atmospheric blurring. It is a major field in optics and is amounst other places been researched in NUI Galway http://optics.nuigalway.ie/research/

    A intercontenental missle could deliver a pay load anywhere in the world. And it to like the V2 goes into space during flight. The 45 minutes is just a wee bit faster and doesn’t really hearld in a space weaponisation. It would probably be based on some hyper sonic plane . Again sub-space.

    Also that counter space seems to be mainly for survillance and GPS. It does mention antisatillite attacks. These take the form of missles fired from earth jammers and blinders. and the counter to these would be earth based.

    The options of weapons to put in space are limited and don’t offer much better strike capabilities. You can’t really drop something into the atmoshere . it has to come in at an angle so that it does not burn up in the atmosphere. This would delay a missile and make it as usefull as a ground based system. In my opinion

    Sorry about the mis-spellings

  2. simon says:

    By the way if i came across rude i didn’t mean to be.