Military Space Ops

Surely the ground segment is the thing to attack, as if you are targeting a low orbit satellite you can only hit one at a time, and the rest of a LEO cluster will be intact?

ASAT tests are just willing waving. I know the US Navy splashed one with a SM-3, but it was out of control and losing altitude. Chinese and Indian tests are just bad neighbourliness.
 
Surely the ground segment is the thing to attack, as if you are targeting a low orbit satellite you can only hit one at a time, and the rest of a LEO cluster will be intact.
Hitting the ground segment means attacking the sovereign territory of a nation, with the potential direct injury or death of people, rather than a piece of uninhabited hardware in the global commons of space. It would be interesting to see how many of a nation's citizens would be prepared to go to war (with an obviously technically-capable adversary) because of the destruction of a metal dustbin hundreds to thousands of miles above the earth.
 
In any collision between two objects in space, the energy of the resulting debris will be spread over a wide band. Some bits will have more energy and be kicked into a higher orbit, some will have less energy and be kicked into a lower orbit, and everything in between. The combined energy of the satellite and the anti-satellite missile will be distributed randomly amongst the different bits and the results can only be predicted on the basis of what the "average" would be (because the total energy is of course limited by the original kinetic energy available).

This is true regardless of angles of approach or any other factor. It's like dropping a dish on the kitchen floor - bits go everywhere and in every direction, with some bits going further than others. You cannot however predict how much energy any particular bit will have, nor can you predict what the maximum energy of any bit will be. To relate that to satellites, in a collision between a satellite and anti-satellite, it is not possible to predict what the trajectory or maximum energy (and so the maximum height of orbit or the trajectory of that orbit) will be.

I have seen various US official statements moaning over this latest test, but all the ones that I have seen have very carefully avoided mentioning the anti-satellite tests that the US themselves have conducted. Claiming that US anti-satellite tests have not done the same as India because the normal laws of physics don't apply to the US is perhaps taking "American exceptionalism" a bit too far!

India are an up and coming major power, and are going to acquire all the tools and symbols which accompany that and which the other major powers already have, including anti-satellite missiles.

The US are very sensitive when it comes to the idea of other countries besides themselves developing any anti-satellite capability, as much of their military technology is highly dependent upon satellites for navigation, reconnaissance, and control. More widespread availability of anti-satellite weapons would render many of their expensively acquired technological advantages obsolete, along with their associated weapons systems and support infrastructure.

The UK by the way have been developing some very interesting technology which does not depend upon satellites for either communications or navigation and so side steps the problem of putting a bunch of targets up in space and then having to find ways to defend them.


P.S. An interesting but little known bit of science is that some of the meteorites found on earth originated on the Moon or Mars. When either body was itself struck by a meteorite, some debris was kicked out into space and some of those bits eventually landed on earth where they have been found and analysed and their origin determined. This is a reflection of how the energy of the debris resulting from a collision is randomly distributed, with some bits attaining a surprisingly high level of energy.
Lunar meteorite - Wikipedia
 
MM,

Out of interest have you ever been to Vandenberg AFB ?? If anyone remembers the USAF set up Shuttle launch facility in the 1980s for their own launches and even brought shuttle in,. It was meant for polar launches (?) but as it transpired it was not feasible and let KSC do all the launches instead. It was located southern side of the base and now according to The Drive (whether or not the article is looking for something that is not there or there is a hint of truth there) that area may be active as a launch site still. The article is heading in the direction that because of its remoteness, it can be used for clandestine / classified launch vehicles (no I am not dragging up the Aurora myth here). Maybe the author is putting together two and two equals 5.9 with the sightings of RQ-170 using Vandenberg as touch n' go.

Vandenberg AFB's Space Shuttle Processing Facility Now Has A Very Mysterious Mission
 
MM,

Out of interest have you ever been to Vandenberg AFB ?? If anyone remembers the USAF set up Shuttle launch facility in the 1980s for their own launches and even brought shuttle in,. It was meant for polar launches (?) but as it transpired it was not feasible and let KSC do all the launches instead. It was located southern side of the base and now according to The Drive (whether or not the article is looking for something that is not there or there is a hint of truth there) that area may be active as a launch site still. The article is heading in the direction that because of its remoteness, it can be used for clandestine / classified launch vehicles (no I am not dragging up the Aurora myth here). Maybe the author is putting together two and two equals 5.9 with the sightings of RQ-170 using Vandenberg as touch n' go.

Vandenberg AFB's Space Shuttle Processing Facility Now Has A Very Mysterious Mission
I’m not a space dude so have never gone to Vandenberg. However, I have seen the RQ-170 which is surprisingly small and definitely does not require extensive launch facilities.

More likely, the facility is employed for their X-37 or another black project.

Regards,
MM
 
I’m not a space dude so have never gone to Vandenberg. However, I have seen the RQ-170 which is surprisingly small and definitely does not require extensive launch facilities.

More likely, the facility is employed for their X-37 or another black project.

Regards,
MM
Cheers MM,

Thought randomly RAF a/c especially ME Fleet popped into various bases, fuel top off, courtesy visit ...Read story of Lyneham Herk stopped off at KSc / Patrick en route to Alvin Callender Field in the mid 70s and the AC had developed vertigo just thinking about going up the control tower to file flight plan. His co-pilot or nav instead had to do the deed.

The other year, saw photos of Odihams finest Chinnoks transiting through SFO .

Cheers
 
Thought randomly RAF a/c especially ME Fleet popped into various bases, fuel top off, courtesy visit...
We do; my log-book has numerous US night-stops but never Vandenberg I’m afraid.

Regards,
MM
 
There is a RAF trio are part of a group of international students who’ve just graduated from the National Security Space Institute at Peterson AFB, CO. The graduates are part of the Space 300 course.

Coalition partners graduate space capstone course in NSSI historic first > Air Force Space Command > Article Display
What exactly are they going to do when they get back to the UK? Space Operations? BMD? Fyllingdales? High Wycoombe?

Or perhaps replying to this fruit loop: MoD reject claims that spaceport will be used for ballistic missiles

John Williams, chairman of the Protect the Mhoine campaign group, was quoted in local media saying:

“If it is a commercial success they will want to be involved and if it is a failure they will step in to save it. They will end up with a missile site – capable of firing ballistic missiles – without the opprobrium they would have got if they had proposed the project originally. They want a ballistic missile site on the north coast. One thing we know about the MoD is that they do not give up.”

Wibble!
 
What exactly are they going to do when they get back to the UK? Space Operations? BMD? Fyllingdales? High Wycoombe?...
We have a burgeoning Space community. Quite a few posts are overseas and such expertise is increasingly essential to Joint and Coalition ops.

Regards,
MM
 

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