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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 onelittleindian on 10/18/2008 1:41:25 AM , Rating: 4
safety always has been an illusion. in my opinion the whole purpose of 9/11 was to shatter that illusion
I've never heard such a load of fatalistic, runny-nosed, flower-power whooey in my life. Safety is not an illusion. We've stopped a lot of terrorist attacks since 9/11, and pretty much everyone in the world knows that if you want to attack the US, you better plan on it being a suicide mission.

All 9/11 did was prove airplanes make great weapons. IF you're willing to die to use them. And with locked cabin doors, federal air marshals, and all the other new safety procedures, they ain't so great any more. Pretty soon jets will have autopilots that prevent them from being intentionally crashed at all.

If your dumb *** thinks safety is all "just an illusion" its only because you've lived your whole stupid life in a country that keeps you safe. Try living in a country that's gone through genocide, civil war, or something really dangerous and you'll won't ever say anything so stupid again. That is, if you live...which I seriously doubt you would. Low intelligence has a way of being weeded out of the gene pool in situations like that.

RE: Sounds great but...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2008 1:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
^^ +6 post.

RE: Sounds great but...
By spuddyt on 10/19/2008 1:14:00 PM , Rating: 3
I think you are misinterpreting his meaning - he means Total safety is an illusion, like america almost believed that no one could touch it in any way back before 9/11, but now people feel the need to have extra security at airports, look out for suspiscious characters on trains, etc. you can almost always increase your relative safety, but as long as human beings are mortal, and as long as people can come and go as they wish, total safety is impossible

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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