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A Northrop-Grummond built DSP satellite. These current satellites only detect ballistic missile launches, rather than shoot them down.
New $5M study is first allocated since work was halted 15 years ago.

Congress recently approved a $5 million grant to begin study of space-based missile defenses. This marks the first time money has been allocated to the program since work on space-based systems was canceled in the 1990s by President Clinton. Two years ago, Congress rejected a similar proposal.

According to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the threat of missile proliferation has grown rapidly since the 1990s. A total of 120 nations now have ballistic missile technology, he said, and nations like North Korea and Iran are not only developing the technology, but selling it on the open market. Missile defense systems are growing as well; 27 nations now have some form of missile defense.

The most recent annual report from the Pentagon highlighted the growing threat of accidental or intentional launch of ballistic missiles, as well as the vulnerability of U.S. satellites to attack, as evidenced by China's 2007 missile test, which destroyed a satellite in orbit.

A defense official commenting on the proposal told the Washington Times that space-based ABM systems are necessary for global, rapid defense, "It's really the only way to defend the U.S. and its allies from anywhere on the planet". The official said such defenses were last considered during the late 1980s, as part of the Global Protection Against Limited Strike, or GPALS, a multi-prong system which used ground and sea-based interceptors, along with space-based platforms. The plan was cancelled by the Clinton Administration, which focused all work on short-range missiles only.

The U.S. announced last year that its ground-based Star Wars' missile defense system was operational and ready for use, though capable at present of covering only parts of the U.S. Plans to expand the system in Europe are under way.

Despite claims to the contrary, China is also apparently working on similar proposals, says China military affairs specialist Richard Fisher. The program, which China says it halted in the 1960s, has apparently been restarted with such systems as the SC-19 anti-satellite missile. According to Fisher, China is also trying to deploy space-warfare weapons, aircraft carrier groups, and a much larger MIRV'ed version of its nuclear ballistic missile arsenal.

Fisher, author of the new book, "China's Military Modernization: Building for Regional and Global Reach", says that by 2020, China "will be well on their way to assembling all the elements of global power that [the U.S.] has today".

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RE: Sounds great but...
By thepalinator on 10/17/2008 3:42:38 PM , Rating: 5
Nowhere near that many. Yeah, cultivating a virus isn't hard, but making and distributing a succesful weaponized one is a LOT harder.

Compare the anthrax attacks on the US. The FBI estimated that only about a dozen people had the skills to do that, and even still it only killed five people. The guy would have better luck with a gun in a crowded room.

Making a virus that kill millions (and not kill you in the process) IS rocket science. It's harder, actually.

RE: Sounds great but...
By kenji4life on 10/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great but...
By 1078feba on 10/17/2008 10:30:46 PM , Rating: 5
three words: it's a movie.

RE: Sounds great but...
By onelittleindian on 10/18/2008 2:01:54 AM , Rating: 3
Most people think all those things you see in Hollywood movies are really true. Things like "grenades explode in big clouds of flame" or "cars blow up if you shoot them" or "all big corporate CEOs have gangs of hired thugs willing to commit murder for them".

RE: Sounds great but...
By Chillin1248 on 10/18/2008 5:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
I always wished my Quartermaster would ask for some "Hollywood Grenades" to be shipped in, they seem to be 15X more effective than any grenade I've ever seen.

Alas, we are still stuck with the M61.


RE: Sounds great but...
By masher2 on 10/18/2008 12:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite Hollywood myth is the shooting victim who gets knocked back several feet from the bullet's impact.

RE: Sounds great but...
By kenji4life on 10/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great but...
By energy1man on 10/18/2008 8:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
Anthrax is a bacterium, not a virus. Overall your point is still mostly valid, though a bacterial infection would be harder to spread than a viral one.

RE: Sounds great but...
By bfonnes on 10/18/2008 8:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't recall that time you're talking about killing anyone... Article?

RE: Sounds great but...
By Josett on 10/20/2008 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
Pick [insert harmful substance], fill up some syringes with it, go to a supermarket and stick it in the fruit/milk/... packs.
There you have it.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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