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Military Implications of the X-Prize

Posted by: TerraMrs - Fri Nov 07, 2003 2:17 am
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Military Implications of the X-Prize 
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Post Re: Military Implications of the X-Prize   Posted on: Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:15 am
Irving wrote:
TerraMrs wrote:
Neither of these solutions would be easy, and both would require radical rethinking of current defensive strategy.


Not easy, but not a "total" rethinking. See the ABL and THEL systems.


Although I'm not that familar with THEL, the ABL should be able to easily counter anything based on any sort of X-prize vehicle. Considering the lack of updates on the ABL website I am very curious as to how that program has been going lately.


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Post    Posted on: Mon May 24, 2004 3:33 pm
we're kooky like that... :lol: :shock: :roll:

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Post    Posted on: Mon May 24, 2004 6:34 pm
I think space pirates are a realistic possibility, but on the loooong term. But terroists are here and now. No wonder the israeli XPrize team won't give information on their launch site.

The point is that allmost 100% of space technology is dual use (military-civilian) so demilitarization of space is next to impossible. The closest you'll get is to avoid basing weapons in space (but space weapons can be based on earth, such as missiles). In Antartica you can't take weapons, but most antartic activity is done by surprise: the military! Who else has the resourses to go there in great numbers? And many civilians that go, rely on military hardware.

In fact, any rocket in the hands of a terrorist is a potential missile. But any plane is also a potential missile. And rockets are the only propulsion system we have to get to space. Any earth observation system (say weather forcasting) has potential for military inteligence.

Besides, XPrize technology is in many cases based on military tech. The Canadian Arrow is an updated A4 V2 missile.


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Post    Posted on: Tue May 25, 2004 12:18 am
A very interesting point, indeed... and at the same time, I'm positive that something as dangerous as rocketeering can be will be even more gaurded then the FAA safeguards general aviation... it would be very difficult (especially at this time, with so very few people actually flying these things) for a terrorist to get a hold of one, take off, and slam it into something... it takes a little more experience to fly these things, I would think, than to fly a plane. But it's very true that terrorists could attack a launch site...

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 25, 2004 8:49 am
I shouldn't be too concerned about terrorism hitting the X-prize or the following commercial operations. For a start, you will probably need to get changed into a space suit for safety reasons for quite some time yet. Also, there are many shakey regimes and corporations in the world who can provide rocket technology to any terrorists with deep pockets or state backing. (Although this will disqualify them from an X-prize attempt!) The X-prize teams competing have shown that with the requisite skills/knowledge and some hard work, you don't have to blow yourself up in somebody elses rocket, you can fire your own roughly at someone (Israel?). Even supposed respectable governments leak weapons tech like a sieve. Giant gun anybody, one careful owner, never fired, FSH. :)

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 25, 2004 9:14 pm
luke.r wrote:
Giant gun anybody, one careful owner, never fired, FSH. :)


Dammit man, quit trying to sell the V3! I've told you that selling an oversized German rifle will simply get you in trouble with MI.5! Now, actually burn the plans this time, and quit trying to upset the world supply of artillery-grade steel. :wink:

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 25, 2004 9:31 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
luke.r wrote:
Giant gun anybody, one careful owner, never fired, FSH. :)


Dammit man, quit trying to sell the V3! I've told you that selling an oversized German rifle will simply get you in trouble with MI.5! Now, actually burn the plans this time, and quit trying to upset the world supply of artillery-grade steel. :wink:


Now a serious question regarding world supply of artillery grade metal: Titanium. The industrial use of this expensive metal was developed for aerospace during the cold war. Refining it is expensive, machining it is hard and it selfcombusts at certain temperatures. On the plus side, it is relly stainless (as opossed to stainless steel that rusts very slowly), it's hard as steel and light as aluminium. You can also make non magnetic tools out of it (good for humanitrian demining ops).

When the USSR whent the way of the dinosaurs, the resulting stategic disarmament pacts created a bunch of junked soviet nuke missiles (the US and Japan rapidly gave money to the soviets to start recicling the trash) The V3 are ion sale! In hight tech junkyards. So the market got floded with expensive commodities with a fall of prizes. Used toxic rocket fuel is recicled and Titanium's price fell, so we now have Ti knives and revolvers and stuff.

This is similar to Russians colaborating with NASA and selling engines to Kisler aerospace.

So me wonders: does disarmament treaties help the XPrize by lowering the cost of cheap cold war surplus, like Titanium stocks? Anybody here a broker for advanced materials?


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 7:27 pm
that's an interesting idea, i'd say it would, but i don't think any of the major teams are using much in the way of titanium or other things that would have lowered prices for.

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Post    Posted on: Wed May 26, 2004 8:09 pm
TerraMrs wrote:
that's an interesting idea, i'd say it would, but i don't think any of the major teams are using much in the way of titanium or other things that would have lowered prices for.


How about unenployed rocket scientists? People in Chile's armed forces tellm me that on visits to Russia they meet lots of these guys taht developed satellites and now drive taxies. The University I studied in, and several others, hired Russian national security experts for international relations teachers. I know there is a Russian XPrize team, but maybe you could hire the man power. Before the nuke hungry terrorists get them.


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Post    Posted on: Thu May 27, 2004 11:03 am
I agree with George. Russia has a huge pool of intellectual resources which are not being utilised. I am not sure a brain drain would be good for them and their economy is growing rapidly, they may be needed soon. I believe that you could probably purchase an entire orbital rocket launch team from the former Soviet bloc, and find people experienced in all of the ancilliary equipment required.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 27, 2004 7:38 pm
I believe the current policy of the Air Force is to build weapons for space, but to keep them out of space unless they're needed. In other words, have the weapons, but by no means use them first.

The current satellite destroyer the U.S. Air Force has is frighteningly easy to build and efficient: we have a missile loaded with ball bearingsthat's fired from an F-15 or similar jet as it's near it's ceiling and pointing up. The missile explodes and puts the ball bearings in the path of the satellite, and it flies through them at it's orbital speed.


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