#2 - April 1983
IN THE TEXT BE LOW- - Background references to issues of the Dr. Beter AUDIO LETTER are indicated by numbers in parentheses. Example: (#79) means AUDIO LETTER #79.
ACCELERATING SPACE WARFARE: Cosmos 1402 and the Space Shuttle Challenger's "TDRS" Satellite
President Reagan went on national TV on March 23 to build support for big increases in military spending. To justify it, he proposed what many have called a "Star Wars" approach to missile defense, based in space. He claimed its purpose would be to prevent war.
Recently an officer of the U.S. Air Force Space Command was quoted as saying: "Space is literally a sanctuary for the Soviets, but it is not a sanctuary for us. " (Aviation Week & Space Technology, 3/21/83) And no wonder. Russia was first with space-based beam weapons like those alluded to by Reagan, and used them to wipe out U. S. military control of space in a surprise offensive starting in Sept. 1977 (#26).
Dr. Beter reported 5 years ago this month (#33) that Russia had finished destroying all of America's spy and early warning satellites. New rulers had taken over in Russia (#28), and they were unilaterally cancelling previous joint war plans between the U.S. and Russia's former Bolshevik rulers.
For the past 5 years the Kremlin has been in a position either to launch nuclear war almost without warning or to prevent such a war from erupting. Up to now they have done the latter, most recently in September 1982 (#79). But the jousting in space is increasing, as the U.S. tries to regain its former military power in space.
On 11/28/82 the U.S. Pacific weather satellite was knocked out as part of the campaign of Russian weather warfare (News Alert #l,,"March 1983). One month later, the USAF Space Command retaliated against a Russian satellite--Cosmos 1402.
Cosmos 1402 was a manned cosmos interceptor, of the twin-lobed design which first became operational in September 1977 (#26). The American anti-satellite ("ASAT") weapon used against it officially is not due for flight testing for several more months But on 12/28/82 the ASAT, a small 2-stage rocket, was mounted underneath an Air Force F-15 fighter at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico. As Cosmos 1402 came over the horizon, the F-15 took off, accelerated to high speed, and then nosed up into a "zoom climb. " At high altitude the F-15 launched the ASAT rocket, which continued upward into space toward the low-orbiting Cosmos 1402.
The infrared-homing ASAT warhead homed in on the warmer of the two lobes--the nuclear-powered beam weapon unit--and blew it apart. The crew, who were unhurt in their separate capsule, de-orbited 2 days later and returned to earth.
On Jan. 5 the Pentagon announced that Cosmos 1402, a nuclear-powered satellite, was in trouble and would soon crash to earth--just as Cosmos 954 (another battle-damaged cosmos interceptor: tape #30) had done 5 years earlier almost to the day. Two days later, NASA announced that the Space Shuttle Challenger would be delayed in its first flight due to alleged problems with the engines. The delay was stretched out for over 2 months, until intelligence indicated that any retaliation by Russia would not be directed at the Space Shuttle.
Having acquired the ability to shoot down Russia's hovering cosmospheres (#72) and now also low-orbiting spacecraft, the Pentagon additionally wants to be able to blast Russian early-warning satellites. These are stationed about 22,300 miles above the equator where they can detect any launches of American ICBM's. The key to doing this was this month's cargo of the Space Shuttle Challenger: the now-famous Tracking Data and Relay Satellite (TDRS) and its rocket booster (called an "Inertial Upper Stage" or IUS).
The IUS rocket booster was fitted out with a cluster of small ASAT satellite-killer warheads, similar to the one launched from an F-15 that shot down Cosmos 1402. Some of the booster's fuel was removed to make up for the extra weight of the ASATs. Then the booster was mated with the TDRS satellite, which was provided with over half a ton of extra fuel. Finally the whole assembly was concealed with a big wrapper to keep the ASATs from being seen on TV, after which it was loaded into Challenger's cargo bay.
On March 31, with the Shuttle launch countdown underway, the Air Force announced that all 650 of its F-15's were being grounded for a few days. It was a signal to Russia to say: "If you don't hit us, we won't hit you. " Then on April 4 the Challenger roared into space.
On the morning of April 5 there was apparent panic in Houston. The TDRS satellite must be placed in geostationary orbit, over 22,300 miles above the equator, to do its job. . .but the IUS rocket booster had "malfunctioned, " they said. The satellite had detached from the booster, but both were in an egg-shaped orbit ranging from 13,540 to 21,950 miles high.
Then hoax-prone NASA pulled a rabbit out of its hat. The TDRS satellite is supposed to carry 200 pounds of fuel for small station-keeping jets to keep it positioned precisely in space for the next 10 years. But, said NASA, on this launch there just "happened" to be some 1300 pounds aboard--over 6 times the normal amount--and thanks to that stroke of "good luck, " the TDRS satellite should be able to creep up to its final orbit over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile the abandoned IUS rocket booster remains behind in that high, looping orbit. The USAF Space Command hopes it will just be ignored as a piece of space flotsam as it bobs up and down, periodically approaching Russia's early warning satellites at close range for months or even years to come. But if the Pentagon can again position itself to try a nuclear first strike against Russia (#79, #80), the ASATs aboard the abandoned booster will be ready. As the booster glides up toward the peak of an orbit over the Galapagos Islands, the small ASATs can be fired in sequence to reach and destroy the Russian early-warning satellites all at once. With the Kremlin suddenly blinded and off guard for a few minutes, an all-out American nuclear first strike can then be launched at Russia.
President Reagan has regularly insisted that Russia's leaders "lie, " "cheat, " and are the "focus of evil in the world. " But what about lying on national TV that the U. S. would use space weapons only to prevent a nuclear war--and then launching an ASAT system that can be used only to start one? What about cheating the American public with a great show of supposedly peaceful Space Shuttle missions that are actually preparing for war? Is there no "focus of evil" in all this?
As our Lord Jesus Christ said to the hypocrites of His day: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" Before we tell others to tidy up their houses, we had better clean up our own.
Copyright © 1983 by Audio Books, Inc.
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|Peter Beter Interim News Alert 2 (p1): Accelerating Space Warfare|
|Peter Beter Interim News Alert 2 (p2): Accelerating Space Warfare|