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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 26

MIRACL Laser Successfully Fired At Aging Satellite

From: koch@wad.berlin.fido.de (Joachim Koch)
Date: 23 Oct 97 00:17:00 +0000
Fwd Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 13:59:37 -0500
Subject: MIRACL Laser Successfully Fired At Aging Satellite


[ Article crossposted from alt.paranet.ufo ]
[ Author was CircusMan ]
[ Posted on 20 Oct 1997 22:04:00 GMT ]

REUTERS 14:18 10-20-97

by Charles Aldinger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The military has fired a powerful
ground-based laser at an Air Force satellite in a test to measure
the vulnerability of American satellites to laser attack, the
Defense Department said Monday.

Army Col. Richard Bridges, a Pentagon spokesman, said the results
of Friday's test -- in which the Army's 'Miracl' laser based at
White Sands, New Mexico, was fired successfully at an aging
satellite -- were still being determined.

Bridges said two powerful light beams, the first of less than one
second duration and the second about 10 seconds, were fired from
the 'Miracl' laser  at the orbiting satellite Friday night,
Mountain Daylight Time.

"It was illuminated by the laser. The results are still being
studied," Bridges told Reuters of the first such firing of a U.S.
laser at a satellite.

Defense Secretary William Cohen Oct. 2 approved a plan to use the
Mid-Infra-Red Advanced Chemical Laser (Miracl) at White Sands to
illuminate the satellite.

The test had been delayed several times by cloudy weather before
Friday's shot.

The Pentagon has repeatedly said the 'illumination' of the
satellite by potentially destructive beams of light would not
violate any treaties and was not an attempt to build a satellite
killer weapon.

Instead, the department said, it was an attempt to measure
whether a laser beam could damage the satellite's ability to
operate.

Miracl produces a beam of light six feet across using millions of
watts from burning buel. An extended beam of light from the laser
would be capable of burning up a target.

The laser's target was the Air Force Minature Sensor Technology
Integration program's third satellite, which according to the
Pentagon has exceeded its useful lifetime.

The laser was fired at the satellite with only a few days to
spare before the orbit of the satellite will be changed Thursday
to save battery power. That change would move it out of range of
the laser.

Even if the shot did not violate any treaties, some State
Department officials have privately voiced concerns that the test
might cause repercussions in Russia, where members of parliament
have balked at ratifying the Start-2 nuclear arms reduction
treaty.

The U.S. Army has test fired lasers at missiles and other objects
in test flights before, but has never tested them against a
satellite. Military officials have said the controversial
satellite test was aimed only at  achieving a greater
understanding of how to protect U.S. satellites from laser
attacks.

But defense experts also say the test might provide data that
could be used to refine the laser for future military conflicts
or to develop other lasers for anti-satellite use, envisioned in
the futuristic U.S. weapons program of the 1080s known as 'Star
Wars'.

The United States has not shown it can destroy satellites, but
the development of any U.S. weapon to dominate space arms could
in turn, endanger American satellites, according to analysts.

REUTERS@

14:18 10-20-97



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 * Origin: Usenet:TU Braunschweig, Germany (242:7000/1)


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