Anti-Satellite Lasers

By Deane Barker on May 3, 2006

Air Force pushing for ground-based, satellite-killing lasers: The Air Force wants to shoot down orbiting satellites using ground-based lasers. It’s like real-life Missile Command.

Air Force officials are attempting to co-opt $5.7 million from the 2007 budget for developing high-energy lasers that could be used to destroy enemy satellites

We have anti-satellite missiles now, of course. They’re 15-foot long monsters launched from F-15s at a really high altitude. They have no warhead — they just get into orbit and keep accelerating to 15,000 m.p.h. Anything that big going at that rate of speed will vaporize whatever it hits, warhead or no warhead.

Until the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the predominant plan was to blow up a nuclear weapon in space to destroy multiple satellites over a large area. Treaty or not, this plan is probably still very viable.

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