Friday, July 29, 2005

Physics of Space Security

No matter what your feeling is about space-based weaponry - if you don't know what you're talking about you have no business shooting your mouth off about it.

You want your teeth fixed, you go to a dentist. You want your router fixed, find a guy with some knowledge of IOS. Need numbers crunched you grab a board certified accountant. If you are a lay person and want to have the background to discuss 'weapons' and 'space' I suggest reading The Physics of Space Security.
This report provides information on a range of technical issues related to space systems that are important for anyone involved in the debate over space security to understand.² It discusses cost and technology, where appropriate, and attempts to separate these from the fundamental physics issues. It is written for a lay audience but includes appendices that give more detailed information of interest to technical audiences.

The report is intended to familiarize readers with the important technical terminology and concepts related to satellites and operating in space. For example, the behavior of objects traveling at very high speeds in space is much different than the behavior of objects in motion on the ground or in the atmosphere and is largely outside people’s day-to-day experience. As a result, most people have not developed intuition about the behavior of satellites, so that attempting to apply lessons from common experience can lead to mistakes and misconceptions.

Things are different up there. Bringing notions of how things work in a terrestrial environment to the table isn't going to cut it.
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