Space: August 25, 2001

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The first of the new "swatter" kinetic energy anti-satellite weapons should be delivered to the US Army next year. Congress ordered the Army to buy the weapons; Boeing will deliver three in the next fiscal year, and they should be ready to launch by the end of 2002. These weapons are carried to orbital altitudes by a rocket. They are designed to disable enemy satellites by hitting them with an expanding balloon rather than a direct impact or explosive fragmentation. Such a system would cause less orbital debris.--Stephen V Cole

 


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