Friday, August 10, 2018

We’re Not Going To Build An Arby’s On Pluto

“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”Voltaire

For decades, America’s satellites like the Titan, Delta and Atlas series have circled the Earth at a largely safe distance from geopolitics. These satellites provide reconnaissance, surveillance, global positioning, navigation and early warning missile detection.

An informal global moratorium on the testing of anti-satellite weapons had held since 1985; the intervening decades had been a period of post–Cold War peace—and unquestioned American supremacy—high overhead. During those decades, satellites had become linchpins of the American military apparatus and the global economy.

By 2007, ships at sea and warplanes in the air had grown reliant on instant satellite communications with ground stations thousands of miles away. Government forecasters relied on weather satellites; intelligence analysts relied on high-­resolution imagery to anticipate and track adversaries the world over. GPS had become perhaps the single most indispensable global system ever designed by humans—the infrastructure upon which the rest of the world’s infrastructure is based.

On the afternoon of January 11, 2007, California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base began getting readouts from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center.  A missile rose into low-Earth orbit closing in on an aging Chinese weather satellite.  Then the 30th Space Wing of the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) telescopes showed a bright flash.

The test raised concern in Washington, where officials and analysts interpreted it as a signal by China that U.S. military satellites could be vulnerable to attack.

Not only was this an astonishing technological achievement—to launch a missile from the ground and hit a celestial target moving as fast as 17,000 mph—it also showed a level of rashness not seen in space for decades.

China has embarked on an accelerated military modernization program, repeatedly emphasizing its desire to be able to compete in 21st Century warfare. The Chinese military, which runs that country’s space program, has identified space-based communications and sensing systems as key to such efforts. Some Chinese military theorists also have advocated asymmetrical warfare, in which pinpoint weapons would be used to disrupt the more advanced and better-equipped U.S. military.

In the years since, the U.S. quietly made a series of decisions—involving procedures, promotions, and the deployment of new sensors and devices in outer space, most of them highly classified—that began to address the problem.  Meanwhile, China and several other countries have built up their capabilities—with traditional and cyber weapons—against not only satellites but the ground stations that receive and transmit the data.

Popular Science notes, “While the vast majority of operating satellites and satellite constellations are commercial, governmental, or civil (around 1,374 satellites as of September 2017, according to a database maintained by the Union of Concerned Scientists) there are many military satellites in space (about 363). When it comes to military satellites, the United States already has numbers on its side. Of those military satellites, 157 are owned by the U.S., a number that dwarfs China’s 57 and Russia’s 83.

According to a published report from Space News, in April of this year Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned China, Russia and Iran are developing space-based surveillance, navigation and anti-satellite systems challenging America’s dominance in outer space.

On the issue of whether foreign adversaries have the technology to take down U.S. satellites, Coats cited a report his office released in February, “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

Todd Harrison, Director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says there are effectively four categories of space weapons: kinetic (aimed at destroying a satellite), non-kinetic (aimed at disabling a satellite without touching it), electromagnetic (aimed at interfering with a satellite’s signals), and cyber (aimed at corrupting the data sent to a satellite).

Have the Russians restarted a program it shut down after the end of the Cold War known as Satellite Killer?

The last time an arms race appeared poised to overtake space, the world’s superpowers banded together to sign the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which banned weapons of mass destruction in space and held that “the moon and other celestial bodies” should be reserved for peaceful purposes. The Outer Space Treaty is still in force, but it is by now full of holes. Legal scholars had a hard time proving that China’s 2007 anti-­satellite test, for instance, violated the agreement. That’s because the missile that China fired was not technically addressed in the 50-year-old treaty.

The astounding ignorance of the fruitcake Left like Stephen Colbert and the baby killers of Planned Parenthood is a shining example of wanton denial of a legitimate threat to national security.  The evidence is everywhere.  They can hide in their spider holes and mock this President all they want.

Mr. Trump is acting on a verifiable threat that the swamp has chosen to willfully dismiss since 2007.  He is preparing this country for a possible attack that would leave our country in disarray and make us helpless.  His Space Force is being tasked with the urgent priority of figuring out how to prevent that threat.

At 5:00 AM this morning The Washington Free Beacon published a report warning, “China has conducted a flight test of a new hypersonic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead against advanced missile defenses, according to U.S. officials.”

The flight test of the Xingkong-2 or Starry Sky-2 missile was disclosed by Chinese state media and touted as an ultra-high-speed missile capable of thwarting missile defense systems.

Space-based defenses could be used to counter the high-speed missiles. "The utility of space for hypersonic defense is in the indications of warning, the launch detection, the surveillance, acquisition, tracking—the whole arena of persistent global timely awareness," said Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering and former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  We are grateful to Doug Ross for linking to this post.

UPDATE II:  Welcome readers of Larwyn’s Linx.  Doug Ross, thank you sir for linking to this post.

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