Space: The Final Military Frontier

Caption: Satellite surveying Earth (©iStock.com/Daniela Mangiuca)

 

Dependence on satellite technology has turned Star Wars into strategic reality.

Right now, unmanned killer robots hover in the skies above the Middle East, ready to rain down death from above on America’s enemies. They are guided by pilots sitting hundreds of miles away, bouncing their instructions off satellites. Smart bombs are guided within inches of their targets using America’s gps satellite-navigation system. When America’s special forces take out a high-value target, their commanders and even the president in the White House can watch and respond in real time, thanks to satellite communication. American commanders view the battlefield and watch their soldiers move across it using American surveillance and positioning satellites. They rely on this information to coordinate attacks and avoid friendly fire. American missile-warning satellites are watching the atmosphere of the entire planet for any possible missile attack on the United States or its allies.

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Will Suicide Satellites Be Part of Space Warfare?

Warfare in outer space is almost inevitable. The question isn’t really if weapons in space will become commonplace, it’s what they’ll look like when they are. Hollywood has already offered us some action-packed theories, but missiles, projectile explosives, and high-powered lasers may remain the stuff of science fiction. Recent events suggest that “suicide satellites,” orbital battering rams more or less, will be — at least at first — the more appropriate ballistic for war above the worlds.

In fact, there is reason to believe that Russia is already moving in that direction. Putin’s boys recently launched satellites into low Earth orbit that seem to have the hallmarks of bumper cars. The Russian government claims that there’s nothing to worry about, but, well, they’ve said that before. Continue reading

Does Russia Have War Bots in Space?

Moscow’s latest satellites might be bashing into other orbiting things — on purpose.

The accusations involve a trio of Russian satellites that may be “suicide” weapons, devices that can smash into and destroy other satellites. The craft are certainly suspicious. Russia did not announce the satellites or fully register them with the UN, as launch nations generally do. The craft practically dance around in orbit. One may even have collided with another object. To be fair, the satellites could be agile spy craft or repair drones. But it’s their potential as weapons that’s worrying. Continue reading

Maneuvering Russian Satellite Has Everyone’s Attention

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WASHINGTON – A Russian military satellite launched in March has made at least 11 close approaches to the rocket upper stage that released it into orbit, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force.

Such maneuvering capability is consistent with, but not necessarily indicative of, an on-orbit anti-satellite weapon.

Air Force officials previously said they were closely watching the satellite, and independent space tracking experts and policy analysts have joined the vigil. The maneuvers started in April, and the most recent occurred in early July, experts said, adding that in at least one case the satellite appears to have nudged the upper stage to a higher orbit. Continue reading