Orbiting Nuclear Weapons

Russia is working on antisatellite weapon systems that would use nuclear explosions in orbit to destroy satellites in large numbers rather than conventional weapons that would attack satellites individually. A Wall Street Journal article centered on a Russian two-year-old launch of a satellite intended to conduct research into such a weapon had this, which is concerning for other reasons, also.

The eventual weapon, if and when deployed in orbit, could wipe out satellites in a part of space dominated by American government and commercial assets, they said, including SpaceX’s Starlink constellation….

An at least as large concern is that such a detonation or detonations would create EMP pulses that would be extremely damaging to our electric grid and the computer networks controlling that grid; to our oil, natural gas, and water distribution grids; and to the data centers handling our communications and financial systems.

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