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Weapon project hidden in a NIAC study?

Posted by: publiusr - Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:44 pm
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Weapon project hidden in a NIAC study? 
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Space Station Commander
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Post Weapon project hidden in a NIAC study?   Posted on: Wed Nov 09, 2005 6:44 pm
moderator remark: This post had been posted in the thread "Heating hydrogen at launch" in the Technology section but didn't provide no progress for that topic. It may direct the focus to another - more political - aspect of space projects instead and so has been moved here.

Kare is just looking for an excuse to have the US fund a massive laser weapon.

How do you blow up a rocket?

You heat the propellant and cause the hydrogen to rupture its tank-

--which isn't hard to do if one insists upon using composites like X-33/VentureStar type designs.

Forget the beamed energy nonsense and stick with what works...big rockets.

Its cheaper than a massive laser. That can come later, on the moon, for in-space propulsion. But we are a long way from that.

You have to understand that the folks pushing ground-based beamed energy schemes are former R. Reagan SDI folks looking to bring back Star Wars in some form, and this is all just a disguise.

If you want space to progress, you fund what they hate--which is heavy-lift. They'd rather spend that money on new-gen ICBMs, ground based missile-defense, and micro-sats, and they will have stooges tell lies against heavy-lift to get their way. Trust me, I know how they think.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 10, 2005 4:41 pm
The reason I mention that has to do with the Galileo program. With GPS squarely under American control, another nation may want to use the European Galileo system for command & control.

And Galileo would doubtless be a target for a high powered laser such as proposed by NAIC, much as the French battlefleet was sunk by the UK, not Germany.

Lets keep laser propulsion in space, or on the moon--in the control of no one nation.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 10, 2005 9:55 pm
Actually, they're talking about using a MASER to toast the electronics in the arming and guidance systems, not actually destroying the rocket (they realized that wasn't feasible back in the 80's). The inherent problem with using a rocket to destroy another rocket is that of guidance -- if you build a guidance system good enough to be reliable and small enough to be practical, the thing'll cost too much per shot to ever use, much less live-fire flight-test.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:12 pm
The US already has at least two high-energy laser systems that could probably burn up satellites, maybe three (MIRACL, THEL and ABL with some tweaking)
http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/asat/miracl.htm
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/thel.htm
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/abl.htm

The Russians and Israelis are known to have tested similar systems. I'll lay odds that France, Britain, China, Japan, and probably the Aussies are working on doing the same or have systems operational at this time. Hardly news, and hardly a reason to fund a new system for weaponization.

But, publi sees a threat to Griffin's funding behind every curtain, I guess this was his soapbox of choice at the time.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:35 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
The inherent problem with using a rocket to destroy another rocket is that of guidance -- if you build a guidance system good enough to be reliable and small enough to be practical, the thing'll cost too much per shot to ever use, much less live-fire flight-test.


This will be proven wrong in the next few years. Of course, it will take entrepreneurial type development costs (the kind that made remotely piloted vehicles common decades before the military “discovered” them) not same old – same old DOD programs.

The warhead to “destroy” the threat remains a problem. At launch, an ICBM is a big target and could be crippled by a hand grenade. But delivering any payload to impact an ICBM while it is still under power is a very big problem (long range and short time!) The vulnerability, large target area and lack of dangerous debris in the TARGET area make “speed of light” attack very attractive!

Midcourse attack, as with Iraqi SCUDs, doesn’t keep the threat from landing near target. Nuclear bombs are surprisingly compact and pretty tough. They are very vulnerable to nearby nuclear explosion, but that isn’t being discussed. Even if disabled by the neutron flash and other effects, the trash which landed would serve as a radiological “dirty bomb”. High velocity impact in space of course doesn’t need an “explosive”, since it already has a higher energy density than any such material! But the “hit to kill” target cross section is at least one thousand times smaller than at launch, and decoys may be present.

I expect to see that problem overcome, in part through the quantity of countermeasures in multilayer defense (50% kill ratio is enough, if raised to the tenth power!) These problems, in historical perspective, are no more challenging than those faced in 1935 relative to costal defense against airplanes (before RADAR). Yes, this stuff is hard!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:47 pm
SawSS1Jun21 wrote:
But, publi sees a threat to Griffin's funding behind every curtain, I guess this was his soapbox of choice at the time.


It's not as if Griffin has no enemies--as if they didn't have soapboxes too.

And if a pilot space-laser propulsion device were proposed--you don't think the beamed energy guys would go after Griffin? He needs more friends, not more enemies.

"We don't need HLLV-so cut NASA and give us Air Force pro-laser people the VSE money."

Is that scenario really so impossible?



Let's role-play for a moment. Suppose we get into another war with a nation using the European Galileo system as its GPS. it would be pretty tempting to use such a big laser as a weapon and to burn out a Galileo satellite or two. And that could spark quite an international incident.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:52 pm
It'd be just as tempting to use an HLV to push a squadron of kill-sats upstairs. And your point is?

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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:42 pm
That's different :wink: :D

Huh?
http://www.spacewar.com/news/abm-05zo.html


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