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View Full Version : Air Force expected to get green light on Space Weapons


keg in kc
05-19-2005, 01:41 AM
Hey look, another Star Wars thread.

As a sidebar, 'rods from god' has to be one of the stupidest f*cking names I've ever heard.

]Bush likely to back weapons in space (http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1487124,00.html)

Arms race feared over 'death stars' and 'rods from God'

Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday May 19, 2005
The Guardian

President George Bush is expected to issue a directive in the next few weeks giving the US air force a green light for the development of space weapons, potentially triggering a new global arms race, it was reported yesterday.

The new weapons being studied range from hunter-killer satellites to orbiting weapons using lasers, radio waves, or even dense metal tubes dropped from space by a weapon known as "Rods from God" on ground targets.

The national security directive on space has been sought by the air force since last year. The New York Times yesterday quoted a senior administration official as saying a decision is expected within weeks. Neither the air force nor the White House returned calls seeking comment.

The directive will replace a 1996 directive signed by Bill Clinton which was vaguely worded but which emphasised the peaceful use of space, in line with almost unanimous global opinion. Plans for potential space weapons were vetoed by the Clinton White House.

Space warfare experts said they expected the Bush administration directive to be similarly vague but also to signal a shift in attitude towards exploring ways of affirming US dominance in space militarily.

"Up to now, this has been a campaign by the air force to have the freedom to do what they want to do in space," said Theresa Hitchens, vice-president of the Centre for Defense Information. "This will, for the first time in US history, will give them the go-ahead."

Ms Hitchens argued the directive would trigger an arms race in space. "Let's think of a world where US has 'death stars' everywhere in space that are going over countries every 10 minutes. Do you think other countries are going to accept that?" she said.

The new push to develop space weapons comes as the earth-based missile defense system, intended to hit an incoming missile with another missile and which was heavily promoted by the Bush administration, has been set back by technical problems and failed tests. The air force's intentions were spelt out last September by General Lance Lord, head of its space command, who said satellites had given US military power a decisive advantage with their spying, communications and targeting capacities. That advantage had to be maintained by "space superiority".

"It can be our destiny if we work it hard and continue to aggressively follow that," he said.

The potential weapons fall into two main categories as defined by a 2002 Pentagon planning document: "space control" or anti-satellite warfare, and "space force application" or attacking the ground from orbit. The air force claims that it can design military satellites that could protect US military and civilian satellites already in orbit. However, most space experts argue that the satellites are aimed at destroying other country's satellites.

"Space force application" weapons include the global strike programme, which envisages a space plane armed with half a ton of munitions. The "Rods from God" scheme would aim tungsten, titanium or uranium cylinders at targets on the ground from a position in low earth orbit. By the time they hit the earth they would be travelling at around 7,500mph , with the impact of a small nuclear warhead.

Another option would use mirrors to focus an intense laser beam onto terrestrial targets, referred to as a "death star" by its critics. But according to one estimate a space-based laser would cost $100m (around £55m) per target.

"It's an enormously expensive way of hitting the ground," said Laura Grego, a space weapons expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She said the "space control" satellites were more likely to be deployed, but even they could trigger an arms race.

"We're legitimising the idea of attacking other people's satellites and we have the most to lose. This technology is diffusing rapidly," Ms Grego said. "To be the masters of space you'd have to not allow anyone else to launch into space. But you can't blow up everyone's launch pads."

Count Zarth
05-19-2005, 02:32 AM
"This battle station is now the ULTIMATE POWER in the universe!"

Ari Chi3fs
05-19-2005, 02:34 AM
Funny, they pulled this same shit when Star Wars EP 4 came out. Heh.

They will get it done this time... the Evil Empire will not fail.

Radar Chief
05-19-2005, 07:07 AM
Not much of a “race” when only one car is circling the track.

Raiderhader
05-19-2005, 07:13 AM
Not much of a “race” when only one car is circling the track.


That is kind of what I was thinking.

jspchief
05-19-2005, 08:17 AM
"Rod of God"...reminds me of a pet name a past gilrfriend gave me.

Donger
05-19-2005, 08:30 AM
This is inevitable.

tyton75
05-19-2005, 08:54 AM
Funny, they pulled this same shit when Star Wars EP 4 came out. Heh.

They will get it done this time... the Evil Empire will not fail.




Are you actually calling the United States an "evil empire"? you phucking mongoloid!

Ebolapox
05-20-2005, 05:45 PM
hmmmm... ya know, once they make it public, it's already been developed and tested :spock:

-EB-...the truth....IS....out............there (/captain kirk)

Braincase
05-20-2005, 05:50 PM
"Rods" first theorized in "Footfall" by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, 1985.

Best line from the book (para) - "Kansans are the only people that know they're better than Texans."

ENDelt260
05-20-2005, 05:52 PM
I didn't realize air force wasn't capitalized.

Skip Towne
05-20-2005, 07:21 PM
I didn't realize air force wasn't capitalized.
It is when it is a proper noun like U.S. Air Force.

ENDelt260
05-20-2005, 07:26 PM
It is when it is a proper noun like U.S. Air Force.
That's what I thought. But, apparently the author, and editor, disagree.

President George Bush is expected to issue a directive in the next few weeks giving the US air force

dtebbe
05-20-2005, 07:28 PM
Wow, the idea of having a non-nuclear weapon that has the power of a small nuclear weapon, is just minutes away from any target and of which there is no defense sounds like a great negoitation tool to me!

Think about it, how do you hit, much less stop a depleted uranium rod going 7500+ mph? Pretty much the same concept as a sabot tank round, just on a much larger and faster scale. I would venture to say no bunker in the world would be safe.

DT

Ultra Peanut
05-20-2005, 08:49 PM
Talk about timing!Think about it, how do you hit, much less stop a depleted uranium rod going 7500+ mph? Pretty much the same concept as a sabot tank round, just on a much larger and faster scale. I would venture to say no bunker in the world would be safe.Scary, regardless of whose hands it's in. :eek:

whoman69
05-20-2005, 08:54 PM
These weapons will be an expensive fantasy for an enemy that does not exist.

dtebbe
05-20-2005, 09:38 PM
These weapons will be an expensive fantasy for an enemy that does not exist.

If there is one thing that we should have learned from history it is that it's much better to have a weapon waiting on an enemy rather than an enemy waiting on a weapon.

I think the "Rod from God" nickname is quite fitting, because I'm sure some muslim scum would be the first to be on the business end of one. Maybe it should be called "Virgin Express" instead.

DT

Nightfyre
05-21-2005, 12:12 AM
I just wanted to see pics of firstgraders fleeing in terror with possible dismemberment....

Ultra Peanut
05-21-2005, 12:27 AM
I just wanted to see pics of firstgraders fleeing in terror with possible dismemberment....Welcome to the club. :sulk: