back to article US air force inks 'tactical' space-war deal

American weaponrytech behemoth Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $30m contract by the US Air Force Space Superiority Systems Wing. Under the deal, Lockheed will develop a prototype "tactical" space scanner for use in the covert orbital warfare of tomorrow. The tech demonstrator programme is referred to as Self-Awareness Space …

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  1. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    WTF?

    ".......when something deploys off a satellite or a bus...."

    OI! YOU! Yes you, getting off the number 14. Are you after my satellite?

    Next up: TfL tender for anti-missile systems.

    The radar absorbant stealth coat please, I'm taking the bus home.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roll up! Roll up!

    Cue the friendly fire references...they're *so* original!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blue, red, and grey

    Ah ha. So they finally admit the Alien Greys exist.

    Actually they're not spelled like that in the USA. So either you made a type, or someone is making it all up.

  4. Schultz
    Stop

    "Out-and-out warfare in orbit"

    would seem to become likely in a heavily asymmetic conflict of space-faring nations. Think along the lines of "I can't match your satellite intelligence, but I can take it out."

    I wonder what became of Saddams space gun?

  5. Dave Morris

    Grey vs Gray

    Both are used/correct in the USA. Thus it is possible to use the grey spelling and not have made it up.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    "don't be so obvious"

    Well, firing an ASAT at someone else's satellite (or zapping its optics with a hefty laser) is pretty much considered an instant declaration of war.

    So the real gig is to slide up next to it and covertly disable it somehow. You could spray stuff on its solar cells, you could bend or snip antennas, etc. and hopefully make it look like standard random failures and debris impacts.

    The USAF has been looking at things like this since Project SAINT in the '50s: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/saint.htm

  7. radian
    Happy

    @ TeeCee

    Ha! Good one!

  8. Pete Silver badge

    declare war on the Sun?

    Imagine an enemy (as they couldn't possibly be a friendly - could they?) with the power to irradiate your spacecraft. One that could shine intense beams of X-rays at your satellites and has known to disable at least one. In fact this enemy threat is so real, it's even responsible for global warming.

    Obviously the americans can't allow such a challenge to their self-declared superiority to go unacknowledged. What they obviously need to do is deploy weapons in space to counter this previously unconsidered force, and if some of the prezzie's friends and business partners get to make a few Mil. out of the operation - well it's a just reward for their patriotism.

  9. Mike Richards Silver badge

    @ Anonymous Coward

    'So the real gig is to slide up next to it and covertly disable it somehow. You could spray stuff on its solar cells, you could bend or snip antennas, etc. and hopefully make it look like standard random failures and debris impacts.'

    The Soviet Union tried something like this from 1967 with a series of tests by Kosmos satellites which sidled up close to other satellites and then - ummm - exploded - so 9 out of 10 for effort, 2 out fo 10 for covertness.

    The program was declared a success and was said to be operational from 1971 until 1987 when it was going to be replaced by a mysterious program called Polyus. Only one Polyus launch was attempted but rather than reach orbit it ended up in the South Pacific - that had lasers, presumably it now has sharks AND lasers.

    And it was huge: http://www.astronautix.com/craft/polyus.htm

    (Is it just me being of a certain age, but doesn't that erector look like something Gerry Anderson would have come up with?)

  10. Dave Bell

    You Only Live Twice (The Movie)

    Fanciful, yes.

    But, even with the monitoring this system might allow, how do you tell the difference between the Russians and SPECTRE?

  11. Matthew P Thomas

    Goldeneye

    Yep, watched a bad movie, you guys run this story, heh presto.

    Simple maths 2+2 = end of the world

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    let me be the first to say

    That I for one welcome our near earth, heavily armored, weapon bearing satellite overlords.

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