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We may yet see real life "Star Wars" some day

There's a very quiet, but nonetheless serious space arms race going on today.  Its roots trace back to the Cold War, in which the U.S.'s NASA and Russia's Soviet Space Program looked at developing in-space weaponry.  The most fruitful result of this research was intercontinental ballistic missiles -- rockets that reach sub-orbital heights to deliver nuclear payloads to distant locations.

However, the end of the Cold War and the UN's weak Outer Space Treaty, in effect since 1966, have done little to halt the silent efforts to develop the weapons needed to one day dominate one's rivals in space.

In 2007, China successfully killed a weather satellite using a solid fuel rocket.  The U.S. countered in 2008, with the missile destruction of its spy satellite USA 193, which it said was malfunctioning and could prove a "danger to people on Earth".

Now India has joined the game of militarization of space.  The director-general of India's defense research organization on Jan. 3 told the press that his country was currently working on an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle and lasers, which could be combined to destroy enemy satellites.

V.K. Saraswat, director-general of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, which is part of India's Ministry of Defence, elaborated, "The kill vehicle, which is needed for intercepting the satellite, needs to be developed, and that work is going on as part of the ballistic missile defense program."

The onboard lasers would not be used as a high energy weapon, but rather as a positioning device to make sure a destructive payload was delivered to the target.  Mr. Saraswat explains, "[The laser] will be able to give you a concrete picture of the satellite, and use that picture to guide your kill vehicle towards that. That work has yet to be done."

If the efforts of China, the U.S., Russia, and now India are any indication, it appears that past human wars on the land and on sea may only be a prelude to wars in outer space; the sweeping stellar battles of science fiction tales such as Star Wars may one day become reality.  For now, though, space warfare is unlikely because there's little to be gained from it in terms of resources.  However, if man has not learned to coexist more peacefully by the time we begin to colonize other celestial bodies and mine their resources, tensions may boil over and successor of these space weapons -- now mere novelties -- may see use.

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Can I be a laser Support technician?
By sapiens74 on 1/13/2010 6:29:23 PM , Rating: 3
1. Hi my name is Jonath....I mean Ali How Can I kindly help you do the needful today?
2. Have you powered your laser off and tried restarting?

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Vile2600 on 1/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By afkrotch on 1/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By suryad on 1/13/2010 11:29:51 PM , Rating: 1
Love to hear some facts to back that up mate.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Amiga500 on 1/14/2010 6:36:13 AM , Rating: 2
Before the Europeans arrived to colonise it, I don't believe the native Americans invaded anyone. ;-)

By rcc on 1/19/2010 1:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
News flash, there are no native americans. They all migrated from somewhere else.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Pedrom666 on 1/14/2010 12:34:40 PM , Rating: 4
Let me see, WWI, WWII, The Soviets, Radical Islam . . . Oh yeah, invented the light bulb, the automobile, the airplane, grid based electricity, donates more money to impoverished nations than all others combined, finances the UN, donated more to the Christmas tsunami than all others in man power and financial power, first on the ground in Haiti . . . what jerks they must be!

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By maven81 on 1/14/2010 1:19:09 PM , Rating: 2
This is a slippery slope arguement...

US Mexico wars, Spanish American war, annexation of Hawaii, Iran, the bay of pigs, latin American dictators, and speaking of radical islam, who helped to arm and finance it? These are all controversial to say the least.

By maven81 on 1/14/2010 1:24:57 PM , Rating: 4
Of course I left out Vietnam and Iraq which are kinda a biggie. But I should probably add that since often our citizens have no say in what the government does it's not right for someone to say "Americans" are jerks. It was the stupid government that decided to Invade Iraq for examle, and there were absolutely nothing I as an American could do about it.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By SiN on 1/14/2010 1:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
It was a man/men that invented those things, from Europe living in America, but a man all the same. What about Nicola Tesla?

So america jumped into WW1 and WW2 at the last impending stages yet claims the acts were courageous and everyone should be in America's debt? No doubt the actions of the men and woman involved should be held in high regard but get off the high horse. And in any case, war isn't the way forward.

Radical Islam, oh you mean the terrorist activities of the US lead bombardment of innocent civilians in the east? thought so. I can't say you were right there. In fact you should have a time out America. The war on terror was a war of terror. I don't see that helping you out in the next 10-20 years. I would almost say you fcuked yourselves on that one. Good job. Two thumbs up!

The soviets? Well i'm glad the US took that one but all the same, either victor would have been just as welcome in my books. It was simply a balance of dominance post WW2.

You get a pat on the back for the donations. Well done. For once you gain respect through using the Humanistic approach.

Simply put, I hate patriots. The very nature of patriotism is to be ignorant and obedient to a "national pride" or "control mechanism".

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Pedrom666 on 1/14/2010 2:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
I am glad you admit you would rather be under soviet rule. At least your an honest socialist.

Last stages of war? Let me see, 1941 to 1945. Doesn't sound that short lived to me. Classic liberal whining. America does something right and gets condemned for it.

War isn't the answer? Tell that to hitler or Stalin or saddam and see how far that gets you. Ideas like yours exist because people like me were willing to stand up and fight for them een if we don't agree with them.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By SiN on 1/14/2010 3:36:15 PM , Rating: 4
I'm no socialist. Your no hero. I'm not a liberal either. Seems you assume too much. I wouldn't have wanted the US to come out on top during the Cold War, if the USSR wasn't a communist dictatorship.

America has no more right than Nazi Germany, or Dictatorship Saddam in Iraq.

America never did anything right in war, there is no right in war. Only protect it's own interests overseas. As big a war crime as Nazi's and Saddam. The only difference is it's guise is counter terrorism these days.

Ideals like mine have lived forever. I wouldn't be as brave as you either to suggest you fought any war which brought us into the world we live in today. To do so undermines the things those people gave up so you and I live in a more coherent world. Albeit imperfect.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By SiN on 1/14/2010 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
Either way, we would live in a world just as bad as US control had the USSR came out on top. The only difference is the sides being bombed today would be altered.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Pedrom666 on 1/14/2010 6:11:45 PM , Rating: 3
I guess you don't know the difference between liberty and tyranny. It's as simple as that. Please, by all means go live under a soviet style government and then you migh understand. You also clearly don't understand capitalism vs socialism or free speech vs total media control. Individualism vs collectivism? Any of these things ring a bell? To compare the us to the Nazis is laughable at best but it speaks volumes about your dillusional view of the real world. No offense, but you might want to brush up on your history a little bit before you make totally outlandish statements.

I would wager most rational people would agree that the us and the Nazis are at opposite sides of the spectrum.

By SiN on 1/14/2010 7:43:09 PM , Rating: 4
You know the best thing is there isn't much difference between any form of governance. Each one with different balance of power, privacy invasion, and public slavery. Capitalist society just gives you the illusion your free.

I just find it fickle that you would consider America as the higher ground. Hence my hatred for patriotism. It's a false sense of pride, for any nation.

RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By Pedrom666 on 1/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Can I be a laser Support technician?
By SiN on 1/15/2010 8:53:49 AM , Rating: 1
I didn't say I hate America, that would cover a broad spectrum of people, including many great Americans.

I hate pride ridden people. Like the die hard American Patriots who think America does no wrong. Like the die hard Islamic fanatics who suicide bomb. Much like wars bent on catholic beliefs. See, there is a correlation with a control mechanism if someone believes in something hard enough.

And for the sake of putting my labeling at rest for you, I wouldn't label me, it is quite pointless. But no, I am not a pacifist either. Nor a liberal. Not a socialist. Not a communist. I could go on, but to do so seems impervious.

By rcc on 1/19/2010 1:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't think some of those words mean what you think they mean.

By 2fast4lyf on 1/14/2010 9:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
Good one Vile. 2 thumbs up.

Do we need to fear...?
By Dfere on 1/13/2010 5:33:26 PM , Rating: 1
A Buddhist Killing laser?

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By amanojaku on 1/13/2010 5:42:46 PM , Rating: 5
Yes. It'll make you one with everything.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Smartless on 1/13/2010 5:56:36 PM , Rating: 5
Or a Hinduist Laser. You will be reborn as grass for the cows.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Mitch101 on 1/13/2010 6:46:57 PM , Rating: 5
ZAP! Thankyou come again.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By murphyslabrat on 1/13/2010 7:12:57 PM , Rating: 3
That's real "green" technology!

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Obujuwami on 1/13/2010 6:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
It will make you a hot dog?!?

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Samus on 1/14/2010 4:24:46 AM , Rating: 3
This whole 'blowing things up' game is just a penis size war. And considering the only players are China, India and the United States, it's obvious which country has the biggest penis'

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By SlyNine on 1/14/2010 5:10:45 AM , Rating: 3
Good thing we got a black president.

jk jk jk.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Akrovah on 1/14/2010 12:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
Oh so wrong.

And yet I'm still laughing.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By Nik00117 on 1/14/2010 8:21:53 PM , Rating: 1
If this is a size about pensis then India's fucked.

RE: Do we need to fear...?
By 2bdetermine on 1/14/2010 2:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
Why go to all the trouble deploying more junks into orbit?

Heck! All I need is a laser pointer pen that will do the job.

By Motoman on 1/13/2010 5:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
...create a weapon that will rain down upon India millions upon millions of cheeseburgers.

By MrPoletski on 1/14/2010 5:05:40 AM , Rating: 4
We live in a day and age where we can shoot bombs down a tiny little hole in a bunker.

Couldn't we concievably use this technology to shoot food at hungry poeple?

"Hey, theres a guy that needs a banana"



The stealth banana ... Smart fruit!


By AbsShek on 1/14/2010 7:55:58 AM , Rating: 2
"What's that? Watermelon? here, catch!"

*PhhFBom*..... CRASH!

"Damn... I hope noone asks for salami..."

By 2fast4lyf on 1/14/2010 9:38:02 AM , Rating: 3
Hahaha....that weapon is already there in India. It is called McDonalds.

By achintya on 1/14/2010 3:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Except for the fact that it doesn't serve the typical American cheeseburger.

By Mjello on 1/14/2010 4:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
Go ask Flint Lockwood to make you one ;)

A lot of hubris
By grebe925 on 1/14/2010 12:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
DRDO is an organization which exists to fuel the egos of incompetent engineers and administrators who would never get a job in the private sector. When the armor on the state-of-the-art tank they were working on failed in field tests, they blamed it on sabotage! Most of their half-baked products are forced down the throats of the reluctant armed forces and when they don't work as they are supposed to, India has to turn to the world market and in effect pay twice for the same product.

RE: A lot of hubris
By sandhuatdt on 1/14/2010 2:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
Have you worked with any DRDO teams? I did and at least their programmers were far superior to any we had in the private sector. Lots of engineers from DRDO leave for the private sector because they get frustrated with government bureaucracy. But it still is a great place for scientists and engineers to pursue the research they want to. For example, how many graduates in India get to work on a missile guidance software or advanced fighter jet avionics? Only the ones that work for DRDO.

RE: A lot of hubris
By 2fast4lyf on 1/14/2010 9:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
That might have been true in the 70s. DRDO boasts of the best engineers and technical people these days. What is killing these government agencies (and still is) is the red-tapism that exists at all the levels.

???? wtf?
By Bubbacub on 1/14/2010 6:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
However, the end of the Cold War and the UN's weak Outer Space Treaty, in effect since 1966, have done little to halt the silent efforts to develop the weapons needed to one day dominate one's rivals in space.

how you can write an article on the militarisation of space without mentioning the ABM treaty of 72 is beyond me. the aim in the 60's was to develop nuclear armed anti ballistic missiles. its really very easy (well easier than than the SDI) to destroy space based structures with nuclear missiles as you only need to get to within miles not metres of the target. this was all possible with 1960's technology and all development along these lines was killed off by the ABM treaty between the usa and the ussr. the outer space treaty of the 60's (which was not an internal concoction of the UN as you imply but instead a combined treaty between the uk, usa and ussr) which you mentioned had no remit to prevent the militarisation of space other than to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being used or sited in space. the treaty has worked fantastically well as there has been no use or placement of nuclear weapons in space ever:

From wikipedia

The Outer Space Treaty, considered by the Legal Subcommittee in 1966. Later that year, agreement was reached in the General Assembly. The treaty included the following principles:

the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental activities;
States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

if you consider the vast proportion of the USA's GDP that was spent on the SDI and the relatively minor expenditure of subsequent scaled down programs one can argue that the end of the cold war has a profound effect on slowing down space militarisation.

to summarise - your article is riddled with unsubstantiated bias. this is not a one off error on your part. please try to at least skim read your articles and check a few basic facts before publishing.

RE: ???? wtf?
By maven81 on 1/14/2010 10:07:20 AM , Rating: 2
Let's also not forget gems like "Russia's Soviet Space Program"
and NASA developing ICBMs?! Come on Jason!
There's also no mention of the F-15 launched test in the 80s, which was kinda important.

RE: ???? wtf?
By Spuke on 1/14/2010 3:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
please try to at least skim read your articles and check a few basic facts before publishing.
Reclaimer77: That's because libtards can't be bothered to read.

Oh sure
By Davelo on 1/13/2010 8:08:23 PM , Rating: 3
They got space base weapons but no indoor toilets.

RE: Oh sure
By AbsShek on 1/14/2010 7:57:36 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine how much research money they'd save if they built the space station...

By kattanna on 1/13/2010 5:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
because that would be the cheapest defense


By sapiens74 on 1/13/2010 6:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Put me in for a laser tech!

By Belard on 1/14/2010 4:48:30 AM , Rating: 2

Theres enough space junk up there. Hell, destroy enough SATS and eventually - everything will get killed.

By letmepicyou on 1/14/2010 4:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
Indian dude: Greetings, my sons. You may ask 3 questions.
Homer: "Do you REALLY make spaced based lasers?"
Indian dude: "Yes."
Homer: "Really?"
Indian dude: "Yes."
Homer: "Really?!?"
Indian dude: "Yes. Thank you, come again."

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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