Re: go interceptors!

From: Spike Jones (
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 00:04:21 MDT

Eugene Leitl wrote:

> > paint would save an RB from an alpha class laser. White paint *would*
> How does an aluminized mirror help? An ablative heat shield?

I assumed he meant the RB could be reflective. But actually
the Space Based Laser and Airborne Laser are designed for
hitting the launch vehicles in the boost phase, not primarily
for hitting reentry bodies after MIRV. The launcher is still in
the boost phase after they are above most of the atmosphere,
so I doubt that clouds and haze will be that much of an issue.

It may shock John Clark, but I am not that big a fan of either
laser system. Altho I believe them to be workable, I rather
doubt that either system will ever be deployed, or if so probably
not in the next 20 years. It intrigues me that the SBL could be
used theoretically to push light sails to high speeds for interstellar

> How many shots can you fire, and how many of
> the vehicles are going to be in the area?

Agreed it would take a lot of orbitters. It would be an expensive
system, which is why I believe it will not be deployed, or if so,
not until launching stuff gets cheaper. I suspect before it is
over we will do the interceptors and let it go at that. The
lives saved per dollar for SBL is lower than interceptors.

> And how does this apply to civilian aircraft on a regular flight, which
> happens to have some extra cargo onboard? Or a parked van? Or a rented
> suite in a highrise?

Heres where the whole ABM discussion went last time, which
was about a year ago. We argued whether or not it could be
done, then whether or not it should be, etc, just like this time.
Then someone brought up the inevitable question of suitcase
nukes and their many equivalents. Seems to me it all goes back
to the issue of... transparency!

Reasoning: we can likely eventually defeat the weapons in the
world's arsenals today. Newer and better ones will be developed,
and we may be able to defeat even those eventually. But when it
is all said and done, if we are ever to be safe from suitcase nukes,
we need another level of technology to do exactly what many of us
have agreed we dont want: one that will watch everyone always, and
blow the whistle if someone tries to make a suitcase nuke, or
perhaps make a fertilizer/diesel bomb, etc.

Nowthen, I have made my views on transparency known: that
I care nothing about *my own* privacy, but I also recognize that
there are very legitimate reasons for privacy. Currently I am
open to suggestion.

I am intrigued by what Bush and Putin are up to today. spike

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