Skip to comments.Future US space weapons (Rod from God to Killer Sats and Space planes)
Posted on 03/30/2006 3:19:41 PM PST by MARKUSPRIME
'Rods from God'
In April, within 15 minutes of receiving a report that Saddam Hussein had entered a restaurant in Baghdad, a B-1B bomber dropped four 2,000-pound satellite-guided bombs on the place.
It now appears Saddam slipped out of the building by a secret exit. But if one space-based weapon now being researched had been orbiting above Iraq -- and had worked as envisioned -- Saddam almost certainly wouldn't have got away.
Colloquially called "Rods from God," this weapon would consist of orbiting platforms stocked with tungsten rods perhaps 20 feet long and one foot in diameter that could be satellite-guided to targets anywhere on Earth within minutes. Accurate within about 25 feet, they would strike at speeds upwards of 12,000 feet per second, enough to destroy even hardened bunkers several stories underground.
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Yes its an oldie but a good one. :)
Gee, that sounds like an absurdly expensive waste of semi-precious metal.
It might be a great weapon, but the name really stinks and might render it worse than useless. ...vanity.
Old idea. Elegant but unaffordable.
Nearly 10 tons.
...And then burn more fuel to decelerate the thing so it will drop out of orbit. A stupid idea, if you ask me. An ICBM with a "Rod" tip is much more practical, except for the flight time.
Why don't we just keep astronauts up there who can chuck speers whenever the need arises :p
A good Sci-fi reference would be Babylon 5 - "The long, twilight stuggle" episode. Minbari fleet using mass drivers to bomb the Narn back to the stone age.
That was the centauri not the mimbari
Shades of "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".
I read about this concept (not the same name however) more than 20 years ago.
Project Thor is an idea for a weapons system that launches kinetic projectiles from Earth orbit to damage targets on the ground. It is said that, at some point in history, the concept originated in a classified study for the United States Air Force.
The most described system is 'an orbiting tungsten telephone pole with small fins and a computer in the back for guidance.' The weapon can be down-scaled as small as several metres long, an orbiting "crowbar" rather than a pole.
The time between deorbiting and impact would only be a few minutes, and depending on the orbits and positions in the orbits, the system would have a world-wide range. There is no requirement to deploy missiles, aircraft or other vehicles. Although the SALT II treaty (1979) prohibited the deployment of orbital weapons of mass destruction, it did not prohibit the deployment of conventional weapons.
The weapon inflicts damage because it moves at orbital velocities, at least 9 kilometres per second. The amount of energy released by the largest version when it hits the ground is roughly comparable to a small nuclear weapon or very large conventional bomb. Smaller weapons can deliver measured amounts of energy as small as a 500lb conventional bomb.
The "pole" shape is optimal because it enhances reentry and maximises the device's ability to penetrate hard or buried targets. The larger device is expected to be quite good at penetrating deeply buried bunkers and other command and control targets. The smaller "crowbar" size might be employed for anti-armor, anti-aircraft, anti-satellite and possibly anti-personnel use.
The weapon would be very hard to defend against. It has a very high closing velocity and a small radar cross-section. Launch is difficult to detect. Any infra-red launch signature occurs in orbit, at no fixed position. The infra-red launch signature also has a small magnitude compared to a ballistic missile launch. One drawback of the system is that the weapon's sensors would almost certainly be blind during reentry due to the plasma sheath that would develop ahead of it, so a mobile target could be difficult to hit if it performed any unexpected maneuvering.
While the larger version might be individually launched, the smaller versions would be launched from "pods" or "carriers" that contained several missiles.
It was most recently popularised by Jerry Pournelle, on his website, under the title "Project Thor."
Rods from God
Rods from God are a space-based kinetic energy weapon that has been discussed since the early 1980s.
The system would consist of tandem satellites, one serving as a communications platform, the other carrying a number of tungsten rods, each up to 20 feet in length and 1 foot in diameter. These rods, which could be dropped on a target with as little as 15 minutes notice, would enter the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 36,000 feet per second - about as fast as a meteor. Upon impact, the rod would be capable of producing all the effects of an earth-penetrating nuclear weapon, without any of the radioactive fallout. This type of weapon relies on kinetic energy, rather than high-explosives, to generate destructive force.
They would conceivably be particularly well adapted to penetrate hardened targets, such as underground nuclear facilities.
There are major difficulties involved. One of them is where to position the rods. They need to be high enough to deliver enough energy upon impact, but not so high that they vaporize in Earth's atmosphere. The other difficulty is the number of satellites that would be required to cover a material portion of the Earth.
Not if this really exists.
I know a bit about the technology, and a friend of mine believes he saw it take off from Groom Lake, back when you could hike within viewing distance of the runway.
Check out the link for the Patent that Boeing took out on the idea back in the 80's.
This thing is feasible, and has apparently been done.
They can't make up their minds on "rods from g-d", it's like a street hockey game, Game On -> CAR -> Game On -> Car... kind of like the DDX...
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for space based weapons, I just think that even something more like standard smart bombs with heat shields and deceleration motors to slow them out of orbit would be more bang for the buck than tungsten rods. Less kinetic and more chemical energy would lower the cost and complexity, IMO.
Damn Take away my geek cred Card. I hate when that happens.
I still think that the star wars program is a better idea to use on enemies, the star wars program was a anti space weapon that was started by President Ronald Reagen, the program was used once to try shoot a UFO out of orbit (can see NASA video footage of it being shot) the star wars program is not a laser but in fact the largest Rail gun ever built with a barrel at the length of 103 feet from start to end it fires titanium bullet rounds fired using electron magnets to move the projectile at a speed of mach 7, the bullet is so powerful that when first test fired at 30 foot thick iron alloy in the 1960s it went straight through and kept on going, it was only fired at half a mach what would happen when sent into space i wonder
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