Thursday, February 23, 2012

Strategic Defense Initiative

During the 1980s, one of the last and most ambitious military projects undertaken was the Strategic Defense Initiative, or, as it was creatively renamed by the press, 'Star Wars'. It was basically an attempt to take the Cold War to orbit - figuring out ways of using space-borne weapons to intercept and destroy ballistic nuclear missiles, enemy satellites, and everything in between. It was a fascinating (and potentially terrifying) undertaking, apparently employing as many science-fiction writers as it did scientists. But what would the Soviet reaction - or counterpoint, perhaps - have been had these plans actually made their way to fruition?

With all that in mind, I undertook my latest class project - design a 'forgotten world' of some sort.

What might a soviet orbital laser have actually looked like? And what if one had actually been secretly launched in the late eighties?


What fate might have befallen the crew of such a craft?

"In the event of a meteor strike or any other sort of collision, a variety of emergency fail-safes are in place to ensure long-term functionality. In the case of damage to the radiator system, emergency failsafes are in place to shut off the reactor and associated systems - ensuring
prevention of a critical reaction. "

"Similarly, in case of hull breach, emergency pressure-locks would isolate the compromised section to prevent atmospheric loss."

"In case of emergency situations, or serious incidents that prevent immediate escape, all
ALMAZ stations are fully equipped for contingencies."

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