[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (2552 previous messages)

rshow55 - 07:18pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2553 of 2563) Delete Message

Those same engineers and organizations, if assigned, might go a long way toward solving the global warming problem - or getting us a long way toward big floating photocells - if some fairly straightforward things turn out to be practical, as I think they might be.

Defense isn't the only thing that engineering teams can do. Not by a long shot. Other things need doing. And people and organizations, who are only so flexible, need transitions when programs get cancelled - especially programs like Crusader, which were performing technically.

rshow55 - 07:20pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2554 of 2563) Delete Message

The exercise of talking about these things to Congressional people and contractors would also tell me a lot about whether I've been "completely unshackled" or not.

mazza9 - 08:00pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2555 of 2563)
Louis Mazza


NASA has been testing "mass driver technology" at White Sands. There was an article in the Dallas Morning News back in the mid 90s about the success they were experiencing.

I wrote an essay outlining how this technology could be harnessed for commercial purposes.

A mass driver would be constructed on the equator in the Andes. It would fire 1000lb ingots every minute with a 90% efficiency, (10% downtime for maintenance). The 1000lb ingot would be a 500lb vitreous core containing radioactive waste and 500lb lead shielding should the ingot not achieve earth orbit and fall back to earth and require rerival and relaunch.

once these ingots are in orbit they would be retrieved by a fleet of ferry craft which will carry then to one of three mass drivers in earth orbit. There the ingots will be accelerated in a retro grade trajectory so they "slow down relative to earth's orbital speed. They drop out of Earth orbit and voila fall into the sun! Better than burying them at Yucca Mt.

The mass drivers in orbit would be firing in a retro grade manner so that on one side of their orbit they would be accelerating to a higher orbit and on the other side they would be decelerating so that the sum of their delta vs in an egg shaped orbit.

BTW at 1000lbs per minute for a year would deliver 236,520 tons!! Sure could build the Starship Enterprise and all those facilities in "2001"!!!


rshow55 - 08:28pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2556 of 2563) Delete Message

I understand a little bit about guns, which are basically pistons. That's less important than this fact -- the engineers who were building Crusader understand guns.

Mazza, I don't know about your "mass drivers" - but the current state-of-the-art - - and a good about the militarization of space, was set out in

The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space by JACK HITT

A quote in Hitt's article is worth noting: - "it costs a bar of gold to put up a coke can."

That very high cost has to be remembered, when people talk about missile defense, or anything involving space.

It might be possible to do better than that high cost. Cut that cost tenfold, or a hundred fold, and the cost is still high. But as the cost goes down, the practicality of space exploration and use goes up.

Crusader people, and the Crusader organization, might reasonably look at doing better than the current cost with a "gun" approach - - something they know a lot about.

Since Crusader has been cancelled, it might make some sense for them to do so.

lchic - 09:55pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2557 of 2563)

American drug companies work for their shareholders it seems the USA government puts in FOR FREE much of the background RESEARCH that enables the drug companies to go on an make new product.

It would seem (to me) that if the USA government was 'working' properly - it would acknowledge it's own shareholders - the entire population, and look after their interests:

    An ethical rep should sit for the Government on all drug co boards - if the people's money is used to develop drugs ... aren't the people via the publicMedical system entitled to return$$$ ?
    Testing of product should be done to a comparable standard
    Those who comment on the inefficiency/ineffectiveness/(leading to statistical deaths) of a product should notNOTnot be bullied by the drug companies.

lchic - 10:02pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2558 of 2563)

Secret plan for N-bomb factory

Berkshire plant will build weapons for use on terrorists, say experts

Mark Townsend Sunday June 16, 2002 The Observer

A massive nuclear bomb-making factory is being planned for Aldermaston, raising concern that Britain is heading towards a new era of atomic weapon production. The plant will be able to test, design and build a new generation of nuclear bombs. Arms experts believe it will focus on smaller atomic warheads for use against terrorist groups and rogue states. ....,6903,738353,00.html

    Without reading further we all know that if small nukes - person sized are manufactured - THEY WILL FALL INTO THE WRONG HANDS!!!
""" Labour MP Martin Salter - who claims that his Reading West constituency lies downwind of Aldermaston - said: 'I am appalled that plans have been drawn up to extend the nuclear weapons plant at Aldermaston without reference to local communities, or indeed Parliament.'

lchic - 10:11pm Jun 15, 2002 EST (#2559 of 2563)

Drugs-war-bush (links),8224,722497,00.html

More Messages Recent Messages (4 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company