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SCI/TECH: 'Rods from God' A Next-Generation Space Weapon

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posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:09 PM
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With all the advancement in technology why constrain modern weapons platforms to good old terra firma? The United States is developing a space based weapons system called “TERMINAL VELOCITY”, this satellite will orbit the earth with 20 foot long tungsten rods ready to drop on any earth bound target. The rods won’t contain conventional explosives they will rely on the kinetic energy gained by the long fall to earth to obliterate the selected target.
 


original news source:
POPULAR SCIENCE


A pair of satellites orbiting several hundred miles above the Earth would serve as a weapons system. One functions as the targeting and communications platform while the other carries numerous tungsten rods--up to 20 feet in length and a foot in diameter--that it can drop on targets with less than 15 minutes' notice.

The guided rods enter the atmosphere, protected by a thermal coating, traveling at 36,000 feet per second--comparable to the speed of a meteor. The result: complete devastation of the target, even if it's buried deep underground.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The United States needs to be very careful when developing these types of weapons systems. It opens the door to other countries with the desire to do the same and could create a space weapons race. I know it seems less threatening because the rods don’t use traditional explosives but once this technology is proved to work it could lead to nuclear tipped projectiles.

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Rods From God


[Edited on 20-5-2004 by Nerdling]

[Edited on 4-6-2004 by kinglizard]

[Edited on 6-5-2004 by Valhall]




posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:26 PM
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I know it seems less threatening because the rods don’t use traditional explosives


trust me, anything moving 36 000 ft/sec has no need for conventional explosives.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by raven2012
trust me, anything moving 36 000 ft/sec has no need for conventional explosives.


They say the rods can destroy a 4 story underground bunker unarguably a very powerful weapon. However this is a surgical strike with localized destruction. My concern is that it will lead to nuclear tipped projectiles that could take-out entire cities.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:39 PM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
My concern is that it will lead to nuclear tipped projectiles that could take-out entire cities.


it would be a lot easier to just use nuclear missiles or bombs than to do that... and cheaper too!



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 12:43 PM
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It wouldn't be as much fun then.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
it would be a lot easier to just use nuclear missiles or bombs than to do that.


I think the scary thing would be its immediacy. Years ago it was the B-52 that would deliver nuclear weapons then missiles and submarines. The search for quicker methods of delivery has always been an issue. The previous methods were more easily called back because of the time it took for the bomb to reach its target. Obviously submarine launched missiles reach their target very quickly but this space bases system would likely be quicker with less time to call back the strike.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by kinglizard
I think the scary thing would be its immediacy. Years ago it was the B-52 that would deliver nuclear weapons then missiles and submarines. The search for quicker methods of delivery has always been an issue. The previous methods were more easily called back because of the time it took for the bomb to reach its target. Obviously submarine launched missiles reach their target very quickly but this space bases system would likely be quicker with less time to call back the strike.


but there's also the international laws on nuclear space-based weapons. and if they wanted to decimate a whole city they could easily take out all of it's infrastructure by taking out key buildings in one strike. another reason why nuclear weapons wouldn't be effective would be that since it's a sattellite you can plot where it'll be and when. if they're expecting a strike they can just get everything they need out as fast as possible... while nuclear missles and bombers are slightly less predictable.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
but there's also the international laws on nuclear space-based weapons.

since it's a sattellite you can plot where it'll be and when. if they're expecting a strike they can just get everything they need out as fast as possible


You have good points but treaties can be broken. I don’t know if it would be likely that the United States would pull out of a “No Space Bound Nuclear Munitions” treaty but its not out of the question.


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said Thursday the United States has notified Russia that it intends to pull out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, starting a six-month timetable for withdrawal and opening the way for the creation of an anti-missile defense system.

The ABM pact, negotiated with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War, specifically forbids testing and deployment of a ballistic missile defense system.
www.cnn.com...



Also I agree that an orbiting weapons system could be tracked but it would hardly make a difference if the projectile contains a 100 megaton warhead.



posted on May, 20 2004 @ 08:44 PM
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I agree that this type of weapon would be too expensive to launch and maintain when several countries already have Neutron bombs the size of a baseball that would do less property damage and dissipate the harmful effects more rapidly. This is definitely overkill (to the budget)



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 06:17 PM
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Wouldn't a 20ft piece of Tungsten be quite heavy. How many space flights is it going to take to get this thing in orbit. I gotta imagine they weigh at least a ton each. I myself think that space should be left out of the arms race. It should only be used for peaceful missions, like exploration and technology development.



posted on May, 21 2004 @ 06:56 PM
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Yeah it would certainly be costly to “reload”. From what I have read a 2-fluid-ounce container of tungsten weighs one pound however if we wanted it bad enough we would be able to get the rods into space evident in the fact that this program doesn’t exist only on paper.



posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 10:23 PM
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Would you only need one platform?

Has anyone seen any damage predictions if the weapon were to be used?
Good question to ponder is would it be able to pierce a mountain side, ie Afghani tunnels.



posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 10:32 PM
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The only reference to its destructive capabilities says that it could penetrate and destroy a four-story underground bunker. I don’t know if the first story is close to the surface or deep underground.



posted on Jun, 4 2004 @ 11:20 PM
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I may not understand the properties of tungsten too well-I know it's the filament used in lightbulbs and is very heat-resistant, but it's not impervious to harm. Wouldn't it just burn up during re-entry?

The launchers would need to be mobile for most effective payload delivery, and they'd need to account for the earth's spin in their launch calculations. If a launcher were in a geosynchronous orbit, would the projectile maintain the launcher's trajectory, or would it just fall to earth on its own path? Does that make sense?

I'll admit I never took physics or chemistry, so if I'm making wrong assumptions, please feel free to correct me.



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