New York Times Readers Opinions
The New York Times
Job Market
Real Estate
New York Region
NYT Front Page
Readers' Opinions

Dining & Wine
Home & Garden
Fashion & Style
New York Today
Week in Review
Learning Network
Book a Trip
Theater Tickets
Premium Products
NYT Store
NYT Mobile
E-Cards & More
About NYTDigital
Jobs at NYTDigital
Online Media Kit
Our Advertisers
Your Profile
E-Mail Preferences
News Tracker
Premium Account
Site Help
Privacy Policy
Home Delivery
Customer Service
Electronic Edition
Media Kit
Community Affairs
Text Version
TipsGo to Advanced Search
Search Options divide
go to Member Center Log Out

 [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 (5514 previous messages)

rshow55 - 07:14pm Nov 6, 2002 EST (# 5515 of 5523) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

Sorry to be late. Was just about to file this:

Commondata , I'll be tomorrow morning before I can answer you. I lost track of time.

Hitting a target with a bullet , angles are critical, and knowledge of range, drift, etc is critical, but time isn't critical.

To hit a bullet with a bullet , time is critical.

That's a big reason why missile defense is so difficult. You can't lose track of time. Collision has to be timed - and timed within less time than it takes to blink an eye.

Another reason missile defense is hard is that the "target" you have to hit in space-time has to be calculated - - when you're shooting at the target, it is a point in empty space. And calculating that point in empty space takes precise data, And good math, done accurately and quickly.

Getting both the data and the math has been hard.

Science writing is hard, too. I've spent some time wondering how to explain what I need to explain to a big league baseball player or coach, or to a soccar fan, or to a cricket fan, or to a racing fan interested enough, and knowledgable enough, to actually buy a ticket and watch. Or somebody who can actually hit a target with a gun in a competitive way - or shoot skeet - or go bird hunting and not come home empty-handed.

Those standards are high standards. Hard to satisfy.

Wish I had a copy of Ted Williams book on hitting a baseball handy. Ted Williams had an exquisite sense about the kinds of physical problems that make the "game" of missile defense hard, and could put them in plain language. Plain language is important - especially since "missile defense" is a "game" that is played "for keeps." Which means it is no fun at all - and interdiction looks good in comparison.

Wish I knew more about cricket.

Wish I was a little clearer about how you explain calculus, comfortably, in plain english.

Anyway, I did keep another promise, and made some banana bread. I'll be back in the morning.

mazza9 - 11:07pm Nov 6, 2002 EST (# 5516 of 5523)
"Quae cum ita sunt" Caesar's Gallic Commentaries

It appears that hitting an artillery shell with a laser beam is a piece of cake.

Once again Robert doesn't know what he's talking about. During the Korean war the first Ground Control Approach, (GCA) systems were deployed for guiding aircraft to a safe landing, (see the movie "The High and the Mighty"). GCA controllers noticed that whenever the base came under mortar attack they could see the incoming rounds. This was reported and it didn't take long for the Army to spec, developed and deploy a Counter Battery System which could identify and incoming round, do a calculation of the ballistic path and feed targeting information to US mortar crews. It was reported that before the first incoming mortar round struck the responding US mortar round was already on its way! Excuse me but solving those "mathematical situations" were the basis for and first use of ENIAC the first computer! Hitting a bullet with a "photon bullet" was demonstrated today by the Army. Differential equations? Give me a break!

lunarchick - 01:10am Nov 7, 2002 EST (# 5517 of 5523)

Saw a docco on the Korean War ... the Yanks just killed 'everybody' ... couldn't tell the difference between civillians and enemy and in fact may have had orders just to KILL KILL KILL .. that's why the folks from those campaigns prefer NOT to remember ... Gunner's Block!

lunarchick - 05:08am Nov 7, 2002 EST (# 5518 of 5523)

data - knowledge - IDEAS


data - knowledge - IDEAS - wisdom

More Messages Recent Messages (5 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Your Preferences

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

Home | Back to Readers' Opinions Back to Top

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company | Privacy Policy | Contact Us