posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 11:02 AM
I really hate to rain on a conspiratorial parade, particularly one that's been heavily researched...but the vast majority of the 'classified'
Shuttle flights were nothing more than reconnaissance platforms or communications birds. I'm fairly certain that NASA and the military were being
(relatively) truthful about that. Let's take a quick look at the exotic weapons that have been suggested.
For a directed-energy weapon (hereafter, 'beam weapon') the limiting factors are power and heat dissipation. The solar panels on satellites simply
don't generate sufficient power to energize a beam weapon, and even if silicon panels did make good radiators (they don't), they aren't big enough
to cope with the heat from a weapon if we assume that some other (presumably nuclear) power source is available. The ISS has even bigger problems,
since it would not only need to hide a large power source (and some fairly big radiators over and above the ones needed for the habitat) from ground
observers, but also from a crew whose members come from several countries.
As an aside in the 'beam weapon' department, the Oklahoma City bombing took place before the ISS was even under construction, so I think we can rule
it out as a cause.
For a rail gun, you've got power and heat problems similar in magnitude to a beam weapon, with the added problem of physical strength (magnetic
forces tend to put hideous twisting forces on a rail gun), the resulting high weight (always frowned upon in a space application) and the additional
weight and complexity of a magazine...that rail gun has to have something to shoot, after all.
In short, I don't think we have a baby Death Star under construction..and if we do, it's not aboard the ISS, and it's not neatly tucked away in
anything that would fit in a Space Shuttle or an X-37's cargo bay.
The "rods from God" idea dates 'way back...it looks good on paper, but has severe problems in implementation....you have to orbit a LOT of the
things to make sure they're available when and where they're needed, and they're going to play merry hob with radio astronomy. If they were up
there, somebody would notice.
As for the use of Trident in a precision global strike role, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I really, seriously, and sincerely consider the
use of precision-guided conventional warheads a vast improvement over the use of thermonuclear devices....that's a point in favor of the Global
Strike concept. On the other hand (and it's a *big* 'other hand'), how does the target country know that what's coming in on that Trident SLBM is
a precision-guided conventional package, as opposed to a 475Kt express delivery of Instant Sunrise? Simple answer - they don't, and they'll probably
assume the worst, and respond accordingly. Major downside to the concept.