Russian nuclear weapons in space, or nah?

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Order2Chaos, Feb 15, 2024.

  1. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    https://www.reuters.com/world/what-is-space-based-nuclear-weapon-us-says-russia-is-developing-2024-02-15/

    T
    his is pretty weird. Nuclear weapons are not a great way to destroy satellites, except maybe by EMP, but that poses the same risk to Russia’s own satellites.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/national-security-warning-reportedly-involves-russian-space-weapon PBS is running the only meaningfully different story from ABC, which did the original reporting and has been extensively quoted. PBS says that it’s a nuclear-powered anti-satellite weapon, which makes considerably more sense. A nuclear-reactor powered laser weapon on could be a good anti-satellite platform. Might also not create so much space debris. On the other hand, it could just have a nuclear reactor to power an ion engine* to keep it mobile for a long time. Could use that to rendezvous with other satellites and kick them out of orbit, or shoot them with conventional weapons. We clearly don’t know much of anything at this point, except that “nuclear” is involved in some way.

    * why nuclear instead of solar, when we have ion engines on satellites already (eg Starlink)? They can only fire when the panels have solar exposure, meaning there are MANY orbits they can’t get to. A nuclear-powered satellite with an ion engine could reach any orbit (slowly).
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  2. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Scalawag Administrator Formerly Important

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    From what I’ve heard from folks who know the issue is a Russian Soyuz-2-1V that was launched on Feb. 9th.

    This satellite weapon is capable of firing an EMP blast and frying all the electronics at a target, city, or even a military base in Severnaya, Siberia.

    British intelligence is apparently handling.
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  3. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon Scalawag Administrator Formerly Important

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  4. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    An anti satellite weapon would be silly. All we have to do is train a laser equipped shark to target the Russian satellites as they come overhead.

    An emp weapon is interesting, but all defenses are emp hardened anyway.

    Sounds like Star wars, the Putin version.
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  5. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    Russia could do a lot of economic damage by targeting non-defense satellites.
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  6. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Shrug. MAD. The satellite version.

    With SpaceX we can put them up faster than they could fry them.

    Oh and inverse square. Targeting a laser is cheap and fast.
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  7. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Socialist

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    This definitely doesn't sound worrying. :calli:
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  8. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    The heartbreak of being stuck is worrying. Space wars, not so much. Space is big.
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  9. Ten Lubak

    Ten Lubak Salty Dog

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    I don’t even trust the ruskies can make the damn thing work
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  10. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    Kind of hinges on what the damn thing actually is, no? They’ve already demonstrated anti-sat projectiles, and presumably their nukes still work. The rest is the question.
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  11. Steal Your Face

    Steal Your Face Anti-Federalist

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    Remember the Jewish space lasers? Yeah, they were real and Putin is sending this thing up to shoot them down.
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  12. Dr. Krieg

    Dr. Krieg Stay at Home Astronaut. Administrator Overlord

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    Russians are too broke, and too stupid(Brain Drain) to make it work.
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  13. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF

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    So, there is a way to produce an EMP without nukes. The weapon isn't terribly complicated to build, just some magnets, a bunch of coiled wires, a metal tube, like a cannon barrel, and some explosives are about all you need, from what I understand. It isn't quite as powerful as one produced from a small nuke, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's also somewhat directional. Meaning that when you set the thing off, instead of the EMP spreading out in a 360 degree pattern, it's 180 degrees or less.

    I also point out that vacuum tubes tend not to be impacted by EMPs, and that Russian tube factories were still churning out all kinds of tubes because many an audiophile prefers the sound quality of tube amp over modern digital amps.
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  14. Tererune

    Tererune Troll princess and Magical Girl

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    from what I know an EMP pulse would be most devastating on electrical infrastructure causing the collapse of the power grid which in america seems to be especially fragile in many areas and it would take a very long time to repair. There would bve a huge strain on populated areas and trying to keep things up like the internet and cell phones, but I am pretty sure society would take the hit and survive. People would die and we would come out the other side seeing the radical terrorist forces of the world are really our biggest problem.

    An interesting EMP detonation by russia could force a radical shift in coming together in the world vs the crazies given we all have seen eachother.
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  15. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF

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  16. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Hoist by our own petard, me thinks.
  17. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf I am the Seaman, I am the Walrus, Qu-Qu-Qapla'!

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    One of the programmers of this project was quoted as stating, "I AM INVINCIBLE!"
  18. Steal Your Face

    Steal Your Face Anti-Federalist

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    I also heard Russia has cloaking device.