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Saturday, February 17, 2007

RH: How China can deter a US attack with Space Junk

From: Robert Ho (ho3@pacific.net.sg)
Subject: RH: How China can deter a US attack with Space Junk
View: Complete Thread (5 articles)

Original Format

Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2003-04-04 03:31:42 PST


1. This idea was first expressed inside a police car, in retaliation
for having 2 policemen taking me away from my dinner, lock me for
several hours in a police cell, then driven to Woodbridge Hospital
where I was detained for weeks -- all without a single word of
explanation or official charge or even an interview with the Police
Station Investigation Officer. This is a most flagrant violation of my
rights and the law, which provides that the police must have an
official reason, communicated to the arrestee, why he is being
arrested and detained.

2. I spoke out this idea in the police car, then repeated it in the
cell, then repeated it the next morning in Woodbridge Hospital. Since
everything I say and do is instantly 'broadcast' to many, China should
know it by now. However, it is time I put it in writing, which I will
now do, so the world can think about it.

3. Currently, the US and mostly the West, 'owns' space. The US is the
most aggressive user of space, with the most number of satellites and
the heaviest reliance on satellite technology.

4. This means that if a way can be found to destroy or seriously
incapacitate all the satellites currently orbiting space, as well as
to prevent future launches into orbit of new satellites, then the US
military, without the satellites on which it has based most of its
military capabilities, will be effectively blind, dumb and deaf. It
will not be able to maintain surveillance of its enemies or potential
enemies, maintain any advance warning of ICBMs heading its way, or be
able to conduct military operations, from guiding its warships, to
communicating with its far-flung military human and equipment
resources spread all over the globe.

5. Without satellites, the US economy, and to a lesser extent,
Western economies, and to an even lesser extent, the rest of the
world, will be severely crippled. I estimate that the total losss of
all the satellites in orbit, as well as the prevention of future
satellites, will cost the US trillions and trillions of dollars, maybe
even reduce its GDP by a point or two for many years.

6. It will setback the US military back several decades. And almost
level its capabilities back into almost the same level as its enemies,
thereby reducing the US from being a hyperpower into an ordinary
powerful state, almost back to the level of Russia, China, the EU and
so on. It will lead to a new era where the US is not supreme -- a
multi-polar world that I believe has a much better chance of universal
peace and cooperation, where the UN can become a more relevant
organisation and Europe once again, play a large role in global

7. How to destroy all the satellites and prevent new ones?

8. I have 2 suggestions, one I read recently and the other, which I
first expressed orally in the police car, cell and Woodbridge

9. The first suggestion is to launch a space rocket into the orbital
region used by all the satellites. Once in orbit, this space rocket
will detonate a nuclear bomb and the resulting nuclear explosion
shock-pulse will destroy all the satellites in orbit, since all the
satellites are electrical in operation. However, this does not prevent
new satellites from being launched to replace the existing ones. That
is where my suggestion comes in.

7. My original suggestion is as low-tech as the first is hi-tech (low
tech can be as effective or even more effective than hi-tech). Space

8. Again, a space rocket is needed. This time, the payload is not a
nuclear device but millions of pieces of ferrous and non-ferrous
metal, probably in various sizes and weight. These 'clouds' of metal
space junk will speed in the opposite direction to the paths of the
satellites, so as to increase the kinetic damage to the satellites
when they smash into them. The orbit and trajectories of these space
junk will be such that they speed at very high orbital velocities
that, in several days or weeks, will cover every cubic metre of space
used for satellite orbits. Thus, smashing every satellite they
encounter in orbit. The orbit of these space junk will be such that it
changes slightly with every complete orbit so as to 'cover' a new
swathe through space.

9. The use of non-ferrous metal for the space junk is to preclude any
use of strong magnetic fields to attract and remove them from their
orbits, assuming the US tries to do that.

10. The shapes of the space junk will also be sharp, like small
durians which are spiky all over. This will preclude any attempt by
the US to shoot into space a huge inflated bag to 'catch' and remove
the space junk.

11. Since the space junk relies on kinetic energy to destroy the
satellites (explosions require oxygen, which is absent in space), it
must be very high speed and each junk must be of sufficient mass to do
fatal damage to satellites it smashes into. They should have the mass
of a large calibre machine gun, up to the mass of a cannonball-like
small durian.

12. Thus, if the US threatens to attack China, China can simply launch
one of its Long March III rockets into space to destroy all satellites
and to prevent new ones from taking orbit.

13. This idea gives China flexibility. For example, although China has
ICBMs capable of hitting the US, the US is now furiously developing
anti-missile theatre defence systems that can shoot down ICBMs before
they can hit the US. If successful, China may not be able to land any
of its ICBMs onto US soil. Thus, this idea may come in handy. Russia,
too, may similarly be precluded from having any successful ICBM
deterrent if the US succeeds in its 'shooting down a bullet with
another bullet' anti-missile theatre defence systems.

14. This flexibility is important. For example, China's ICBMs are a
weapon of last resort, so cannot be used except in the severest attack
by the US. But my idea, being relatively less armageddonic, can be
used in retaliation to a smaller attack by the US on China, for
example, over Taiwan. It is a useful addition to China's deterrence

Robert Ho
4 Apr 03
UK 1231 GMT 1931 Sing