When President Donald Trump starting talking about the military in space, some pundits began to size him for a straight jacket. U.S. satellites and other interests were at stake.
While it may sound like something from a James Bond (or even Austin Powers) script, it is true. The aim is to “convert a telescope” into what is being called “space gun,” a term typically used in comic books. The stated goal is to destroy “orbital debris” which could threaten ships in space, but clearly, there are concerns over possible tactical advantages which could be gained.
The weapon itself is not that strong, but it can be focused to take out debris or, perhaps someday, U.S. satellites, just as Donald Trump had warned.
It has the power to vaporize targets, but how strong could it be a decade from now? As technology progresses, this could be a real problem for the world.
“The scientists intend to use the massive soon-to-be-built telescope at the Altay Optical-Laser Center and convert it into a laser cannon,” a Russian report states, according to Sputnik News.
“The device is expected to be powered by a solid-state generator, though the project team has yet to choose which model to use.”
Russia has pursued flying lasers which can be put onto planes, so it is fair to worry that Putin’s stargazing eye may not always be pointed upwards.
Taking out a few U.S. communication satellites and other targets would be something that Russia may do if tensions escalate to the point of war.
Although the weapon is weak now, the repetitive show of strength and technology displayed by Russia is concerning.