Quick idea of the back of my head
Maybe we should stop sending them all our money ?
US military leaders have claimed China has a satellite with a grappling arm, and said its existence highlights the needs for increased funding to match the Middle Kingdom and Russia's expanding orbital arsenals. In the hearing, US Space Command commander General James Dickinson outlined the current state of affairs as follows …
No, no, no. You miss understand. They are not making this statement to make you stop sending all your money to the US military complex. They are making this statement to make you send EVEN MORE.
In other news, the US is spraying champaign because one of their satellites successfully grappled an on orbit satellite, and started to control it.
Don't know if any were returned to Earth, but they certainly, publicly, captured several satellites (including Hubble of course), sometimes by hand.
The fact that the birds were retrieved gave the Soviets a SEVERE case of heartburn and confirmed their worst fears about Shuttle.
This moves very much into "Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD" territory
We need sensible adults in the room having sensible discussions about bringing down junk and the Americans are amongst the worst offenders for preventing this happening
Why nuclear? I doubt they will be bringing anything down, merely disrupting/destroying it. This isn't a Bond movie, and these aggressor satellites are not as large as Shuttles.
As a counter, a relatively small charge, or even an emergency de-orbit operation to drag the aggressor satellite down or alter it's orbit would probably be enough (you would have to hope that by the time the ground notice the orbital change, it will be too late to correct it).
It's the GPS (and GLONASS, Galileo or BeiDou by extension) networks that are probably most at risk of attack. Many weapon system look like they rely on those now. In order to disable those weapons, change the orbit of a dozen or so GPS satellites they rely on. Merely altering the orbit a bit will make a GPS satellite useless, as high precision positioning relies on a critical number of operational GPS satellites to be above the horizon to get a time fix.
Or how about having the Tachikomas de-orbit their brain satellite to collide with the aggressor!
"I'd shoot a weighted net at them, and screw their mass up."
Firing anything destabilises you. You also have to lift that mass into orbit and manage it. And it gives you a finite number of disruptions. (How many weighted nets do you carry?)
You can probably do more damage with an arm.
Barometric pressure switch, 100g of C4 and 200g of ball bearings.
That's why the USAF dropped out of the shuttle program - after ruining it with their requirements.
It would almost be worth launching worthless 'secret' satellites just to have the other side waste time and resources capturing them - especially if each capture resulted in the loss of an expensive capture vehicle.
The opposition could hardly complain that your satellite was booby-trapped and destroyed their spy mission trying to steal it.
Have you ever wondered how the West [Uncle Sam, Five Eyes, NATO Allies and other piggybacking limpet forces] would fare and justify their constant clarion call for ever expanding fiat currency resources/nationalised virtual blood and treasure if the East wasn't there for them to paint and treat as an enemy always threatening intimidating neighbours with overwhelming forces and superior technology, believed either secretly home grown and naturally indigenous or advanced and improved, successfully pirated and reverse engineered Western ware converted and subverted for warfare?
Peace would create for them a real problem, methinks, and a great difficulty which they would struggle miserably and fail spectacularly to address and resolve to any degree of universal satisfaction.
Such more than just suggests a most definite lack of Advanced IntelAIgents and Simple Common Sense with endemic systemic human learning difficulties contributing inordinately to rapid systems demises/Elitist SCADA Executive Office collapses ........ which of course one can fully expect to be comprehensively exploited to an nth degree.
By whom and/or what, and to what end purposes, is a whole new other world to get into in order to have any hope at all of being instructive and effective in its myriad novel active fields. Stepping through that portal is nothing less than a giant quantum leap for mankind. And it is not without its necessary perils which ensure and guarantee only the best of behaviours is allowed and generously graciously shared so take extreme extraordinarily especial care.
Let's think about this ...
Space harpoons, space nets, space impactors, space robot grapplers, in-orbit satellite refuelers, in-orbit assembly robots ... all terrible news. But all are "friendly" methods and ideas for approaching redundant satellites and debris to remove it. Yes, all *could* be used as military "enemy satellite" removal tools but they are not, and that's obviously true because the frendly powers that designed/built them said so ...
We see China building a satellite with a robot arm and manoeuvring closer to a second satellite as if to grapple it ... I'm not sure which heading above it fits into but it's obviously very, very military and dangerous to friendly forces so give us millions to militarise space - "SPACE FORCE FOREVER!" (or whatever they've decided to steal from a film and chant)
In fairness the Soviets beat everyone to it having an actual canon in space (not the point and click but point and clunk - no boom since its a vacuum and all that).
The promise of not military in space is naive in the extreme to think that no one would ever dare. Its just that they at least try to hide it and not make a huge fuss over it. No large scale space navy battles.. Its abit like Nukes. Everyone knows they're still working on them but they just don't openly test them (except for fringe lunatics in hermit states).
Why grapple satellites or take them out one-by-one with a laser? Three-five nuclear explosions in space, and whole constellations of satellites are dead.
Somebody in Pentagon must have stumbled on James Bond's "Dr. No" movie all of a sudden. Even there, the perpetrators were after manned space capsules, not satellites.
> Three-five nuclear explosions in space, and whole constellations of satellites are dead.
That would probably destroy half the satellites out there, including your own, and blow up electric and communications networks on the ground as well. Google the "Starfish Prime" nuclear test from 1962. At that time there were few satellites up, and people did not yet rely on them as much as now. Just imagine the mayhem it would cause today.
This comes back to SPACE IS BIG. There seems to be at least 30° of arc between them at an orbital radius of 26,600 km. Maybe two planes get a bit closer. But I'd be surprised if you could take out more than one bird with a nuke.
And there are 32 satellites of which at least 24 are needed. So to degrade the experience you have to take out at least 9.
The Starfish Prime test generated temporary radiation belts, with charged particles racing along magnetic field lines. So all the energy is not radiated uniformly. I would speculate that with a suitable placed nuke, you could take out most satellites within a given "orange slice" of orbital space.
Space is big but not homogeneous. The radiation from a nuclear detonation in space would strongly affect the ionosphere and add a lot of high energy ions. They'll do a lot of damage over a long distance from the initial blast.
Basically, to do damage with a nuke in space you don't need to hit anything with it, you don't even need to get close.
"I'd be surprised if you could take out more than one bird with a nuke."
Starfish Prime took out virtually everything in direct line of sight AND a lot of stuff not in line of sight which flew through the charged electron clouds resulting from the explosion. Telstar was knocked out by it - and was launched some time AFTER the detonation!
"China is building military space capabilities rapidly, including sensing and communication systems and numerous antisatellite weapons "
This from the country that still clings to the fable of modified mainboards from Huawei, despite never having ever brought a shred of proof to the table.
I'd ask for proof on this, but we all know that the answer will be : "Classified".
Of course the US military is hyping up the dangers. I completely believe China is building itself up. Why wouldn't it ? It has a bunch of American warships off its shores 24/7 (for many reasons, I know). But how do you know about any ground-based anti-satellite weaponry ? Did the Chinese military send you pics ?
As I understand it, the military, their role is to protect its interests
It is in nobodies interest, to start fighting like bloody animals while in orbit. Honestly, the day this fuckwit species discovered they’ve been roaming around on a sphere, is the day all human conflict should have stopped.
If I had one piece of advice for this fuckwit species, it would be “GET YOUR FUCKING NOSE
OUT OF THE FUCKING SHIT”
Simple solution - add an arm with an open-palmed hand that detects the grabby hand of Chinese suppression and just before contact is made it slaps the grabby hand away. In turn the slap sends the offending satellite spiralling away in a similar way to Team Rocket when they inevitably blast off again.
There really needs to be some kind of stronger and more enforced international agreements on satellites, particularly about what to do with the junk. We can't really afford to just junk another chunk of environment to the point that it's unusable.
If useful orbits end up full of fragments and broken up satellites, we're going to lose easy access to Space.
1) Everyone knows where everything (more than a few inches in diameter) is in space.
2) Sneaking up on a satellite is impossible.
3) A grappling arm has limited capabilities, none of them suitable for offense, James Bond non-withstanding.
4) The basic goal of a satellite arm is for rehabilitating old satellites (e.g. recharging, refueling, relocation).
5) The first successful use of this was a year ago with Lockheed Martin and Intelsat.
6) All government departments of all governments are always seeking increased funding, often by pointing to other governments.
Northrup Grummand (a big US defense contractor) launched last year a satellite that can "grab" other satellites and take over their maneuvering. It is being used to extend the life of an Intelsat satellite that ran out of fuel.
That same technology can do everything bad a Chinese satellite with an "arm" can do. Given their background it is fairly likely the technology was originally developed for the military an unknown number of years ago, and they got permission from the DoD to offer it commercially.
You know, the one about it being a:
thirty-two bit extension and graphical shell to a sixteen bit patch to an eight bit operating system originally coded for a four bit microprocessor which was written by a two-bit company that can't stand one bit of competition.
Uncle Sam says, "I resemble that!!!"
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