Shooting satellites made easy

17 Jul 2007


Got it

Right this way

Wait "&brkbar; what‾

Yes. Evidently, anyone can shoot down a satellite, according to research in the Inderscience Publishers' International Journal of Critical Infrastructures. [Spotted via Bruce Schneier's blog]

All you need is some free satellite tracking software from the Web, some textbook physics and an intermediate-range missile. BOOM! Yr done.

Okay, getting the missile might be tricky, but the researchers say that such a missile is "well within the reach of many nations and organizations with sufficient funds, and a college-level team dedicated to the cause".

Right. Or you could buy it on eBay or something.

Anyway, Adrian Gheorghe of Old Dominion University Norfolk (US) and Dan Vamanu of 'Horia Hulubei' National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering in Bucharest, Romania say that the threat is big enough that the world's security agencies need to give it higher priority - right before they add that, "Okay, we're probably making it look like a far simpler operation than it would be in real life - but the point is it could happen!"

You know, like in Moonraker. Or Goldeneye. Or whichever James Bond movie had the supervillain blowing up satellites to take over the world.

Call me a skeptic, but I'm wondering why terrorists or Kim Jong-Il or insane supervillains would even bother to shoot down a satellite when it would be cheaper just to jam it. Even the Falun Gong can manage that (allegedly).

Can't wait for the film, though.

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