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Air Force pushing for ground-based, satellite-killing lasers

Evan Blass
05.03.06
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In a proposal that would surely bring a tear to the late Ronald Reagan's eye, Air Force officials are attempting to co-opt $5.7 million from the 2007 budget for developing high-energy lasers that could be used to destroy enemy satellites (because, you know, al Qaeda is launching birds left and right). So far a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee has "shot down" the program, which would build on a 1997 Pentagon study of a two-million-watt laser, although the full committee could reinstate the provision following analysis of the entire bill. While certain military interests have pushed for anti-satellite weapons since the Cold War, concern over the space junk that destroyed sats would create has kept the international community from serious pursuit of any "Star Wars"-like programs. Although we're always keen on new military tech (hey, it gives us something to write about), we're gonna have to side with the Doubting Thomases on this one, because the impending "ROBO-ONE in the Space" satellite is simply too important to risk even a single stray laser strike.

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