Strategic Weapons: January 19, 2000

Archives

  The Pentagon admitted on 14 Jan that the October test of the missile defense system was not quite as successful as first claimed. The interceptor "kill vehicle" could not navigate by the stars because the wrong star map had been loaded into its memory. Once it reached close enough range to detect the target, it locked onto a decoy balloon (which was there specifically to determine if the interceptor could tell it from the real warhead). The kill vehicle quickly established that the balloon was not a valid target and began searching for the real warhead without finding it. Finally, running out of time, the kill vehicle locked back on the balloon. [Its software is designed to deliberately kill a decoy if it cannot find the real target; this would at least make the job of a second follow-up interceptor that much easier.] At the last second, the real warhead appeared in the interceptor's viewfinder and the kill vehicle diverted to slam into it. --Stephen V Cole

 


Article Archive

Strategic Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close