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sardeans
2008-Apr-10, 02:49 AM
How big of a threat could a rouge nation with sufficient rocket capabilities pose to other space programs by sending "space junk bombs" into orbit. For example, a series of rockets loaded with ball bearings or other debris exploding in orbit. A single explosion would create thousands and thousands of projectiles. I imagine enough such "bombs" would create significant problems for future satellites and launches. The debris would be too small to track, but could cause massive problems should impact occur, thereby greatly increasing the risk of future launches. Perhaps North Korea or Iran could obtain the technology for orbital tracjectories and be crazy enough to do it. Could they effectively threaten the ISS with such weapon?

01101001
2008-Apr-10, 03:39 AM
Welcome to BAUT Forum.

Ball bearings? Why so fancy?

CNN: Scientist: Space weapons pose debris threat
(http://archives.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/05/03/orbit.debris/index.html)


"No actual space war even has to be fought," Primack said. "Any country that felt threatened by America's starting to place lasers or other weapons in space would only have to launch the equivalent of gravel to destroy the sophisticated weaponry."

On the other hand...


That scenario would likely never succeed or even happen in the first place, other space experts said.

Military satellites are hardened to resist impacts from debris already in space and future orbiters will likely become even more protected as the technology improves, said Michael Kucharek, spokesperson for the U.S. Air Force Space Command. The Colorado-based outpost tracks almost 10,000 thousands of pieces of space junk four inches (10 cm) in diameter or larger.

Moreover, such an attack would be technologically and economically daunting.

"Very few nations could do that today. Even If you were to put tens of thousands of particles out there, it would pale in comparison to what is already out there," said Nick Johnson of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office, which monitors the threat of small space debris to spacecraft.

mugaliens
2008-Apr-10, 06:43 PM
Any nation stupid enough to do that would probably be invaded by several others...

tdvance
2008-Apr-10, 06:43 PM
As A. C. Clarke once suggested as a missile defense system for ICBMs, just blast a bucket of sand into low-earth retrograde orbit.

Noclevername
2008-Apr-10, 10:57 PM
Any nation with a rocket that can reach orbit is already a threat, all by itself.