Space: January 14, 2000


General Richard Myers, head of Space Command, has called for more tests in which US lasers are fired at US satellites. A similar experiment, conducted in Oct 97, showed that a relatively low-powered laser could not damage a satellite but could blind its infrared camera. Myers said that the tests are necessary in order to study how a future attack with "laser dazzlers" might disrupt US satellites. Critics, however, are concerned that the tests are a smokescreen to cover US tests to attack foreign satellites, a step the US military insists it is not interested in taking. The critics contend that, at the least, the tests would convince foreign nations that the US was indeed planning to attack their satellites.--Stephen V Cole


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