Number 2 - August 26, 1983
IN THIS ISSUE:
Perspective: Space Warfare
Setback in the Space Shuttle ASAT Program
It is now nearly six years since the Soviet Union began its successful military takeover of space in 1977. Now the United States is positioning itself for a counter-offensive to crack Russia's military dominance of space by means of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. A battle of ASAT weapons is shaping up which is the space equivalent of air superiority fighters dogfighting to control the sky. Secret involvement of the U.S. Space Shuttle in this military program caused the TDRS satellite "malfunction" on the way to orbit last April. Even genuine, major science missions such as Spacelab are now being endangered by military tampering with the Space Shuttle program.
Artificial Storms: Hurricane Alicia, Tropical Storm Barry
The Andropov Kremlin is well aware of American preparations to challenge Soviet space power via ASAT weapons. Space-based weather control has been used this month to warn against any such U. S. offensive. Two artificial storms, Alicia and Barry, were aimed precisely at two NASA targets--the Houston Space Center and the Shuttle on the pad at Cape Canaveral--to drive home this warning.
Copyright © 1983, Audio Books, Inc.
Background references are indicated in parentheses ( ), abbreviated as follows:
Ali Dr. Beter AUDIO LETTER® Cassette Tape *
AB# AUDIO BOOK® Cassette Tape #
ST# SPECIAL TAPE #
These tapes produced by Audio Books, Inc., may be ordered from NewaALERT.
Perspective: Space Warfare
Setback in the Space Shuttle ASAT Program
Last week on August 18, 1983, Soviet President Yuri Andropov met with a delegation of U. S. senators led by Senator Claiborne Pell (D-R. L ) for nearly two hours. Afterward Sen. Pell said that very little "new ground was plowed" in the meeting--except for one thing. Andropov had announced that the Soviet Union is prepared to agree to eliminate all anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Pell said Andropov offered to "dismantle" existing systems, as well as to ban development of new ones.
The Andropov anti-satellite ban proposal was far from the most prominent news item in the United States that day. It was overshadowed especially by Hurricane Alicia, which struck the Texas coast the same day. By comparison, the subject of yet another arms control initiative probably sounded a bit dry and boring to many people.
Under the circumstances, Andropov's proposal attracted little attention at the public level. But those same circumstances caused Andropov's words to attract strong attention indeed in certain governmental circles here. It was no accident that Hurricane Alicia struck on the day of the meeting of Andropov with Sen. Pell's delegation. In fact, the storm was coming ashore in Texas at the very time that the meeting in Moscow was underway. This latest product of Soviet weather control was calculated to guarantee that Andropov's words would not be ignored.
Andropov's proposal this month is his second this year concerning anti-satellite weapons. In mid-April he issued a statement urging the "interested states" to "sit down at the negotiating table without delay to begin drawing up a treaty prohibiting the deployment in space of weapons of any kind. . . " (emphasis ours). The Reagan Administration completely ignored it, notwithstanding some recent lip service to the idea. So now the Kremlin proposal has been repeated, underscored this time by means of weather warfare.
Exactly what Andropov has in mind is not yet clear. But for nearly six years the Soviet Union has ruled the roost militarily in space. Now the United States is making a bid for renewed space power--and anti-satellite weapons are the key.
In reporting the August 18 meeting between Andropov and the visiting U. S„ senators, the Soviet news agency Tass said that the Soviets would not be the first nation to deploy anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Strictly speaking that is true, but it does not say what it seems to say.
Russia can never be first to deploy ASAT weapons because the U. So did it first about two decades ago. In the early and mid-1960's, America deployed two operational ASAT systems in the Pacific. These were based respectively on the THOR and NIKE ZEUS rockets, and had nuclear warheads. They were dismantled in 1965 and 1967 respectively, partly because they were believed capable of disabling friendly as well as enemy satellites through electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effects.
Russia's operational deployment of ASAT systems began a decade later, in 1977. Russia's ASAT system consists of a fleet of nuclear-powered, manned satellites known as cosmos interceptors, armed with particle beam weapons. The first operational use of a Soviet cosmos interceptor took place on September 20, 1977, when an American spy satellite was destroy"ed in a huge fireball over northern Russia by Cosmos 929. A week later a sister spacecraft, Cosmos 954, used a special neutron beam weapon to bombard the secret American military base on the moon and put it out of action. Dr. Beter reported on these events that month (AL#26).
There were soon obscure confirmations of what Dr. Beter had reported. In October 1977, then-Secretary of Defense Harold Brown told reporters at the Pentagon that the Soviets had achieved an operational ASAT capability. However, he declined to describe it, leaving reporters to speculate incorrectly that the Russians were using an old exploding-satellite concept. That same month Skylab was destroyed in a giant fireball over the United States (AL#27); after puzzled headlines died down, NASA initiated a long-drawn-out coverup based on the fiction that Skylab was unexpectedly sinking from orbit. Then there was Cosmos 954: damaged in its duel with the U. S. moon base, it made a spectacular emergency landing four months later in northern Canada. For public consumption it was described as a "nuclear satellite crash. " (AL#30)
Russia's operational deployment of orbiting ASAT weapons was just the beginning of an all-out military takeover of space. During the final months of 1977 an entire "space triad" of strategic manned space weapons was deployed, and it has been enlarged and improved greatly since then. One leg of this space triad is the fleet of Soviet cosmos interceptor ASAT's. The second leg of the triad is the complex of Soviet military bases established on the moon after America's secret base was put out of action (AL#27, 28, 29). The third leg of the space triad is the Russian fleet of levitating electrogravitic weapons platforms called "cosmospheres" (AL#29, 31, 32).
Of these three military space systems, the ASAT patrol craft known as cosmos interceptors are in some ways the least spectacular. The cosmospheres, for example, were responsible for the series of nerve-jarring air booms along the U.S. East Coast and elsewhere during the winter of 1977-78. They were using their charged particle beam weapons in a de-focused mode to announce their presence by creating huge blasts in the atmosphere. The U.S. Government succeeded in calming people down about the blasts at the time by having "experts" blame the blasts on various fairly ridiculous causes. These official explanations were later quietly disproved (e. g. , AL#53), but served their purpose of causing the public to relax and forget about the booms. Outmaneuvered in this little episode of psychological warfare, the Russians finally abandoned the "air booms" campaign.
The particle beam weapons deployed at the Russian moon bases are orders of magnitude more powerful than those fired by either the cosmos interceptor ASAT's or the hovering cosmospheres. In the nearly six years since their deployment, they have never been fired at a land tar get--which would be obliterated--but only at target areas at sea. The first experimental lunar beam firing took place on November 19, 1977, at an area within a huge cyclone off India in the Bay of Bengal. The result was a gigantic double flash, followed by a huge tidal wave which came racing out of the storm to inundate Indian coastal lowlands in a major catastrophe (AL#29). The double flash phenomenon is characteristic of lunar beam firings, and caused rumors of a possible atomic bomb test in the South Atlantic when such a firing was accidentally detected by an aging Vela satellite. What was actually going on was a test of a new modification technique, by which storms can be generated artificially at sea (AL#54). Once generated, these storms are then guided and sustained by squadrons of cosmospheres, which use their beam weapons to manipulate electrical charge patterns in the upper atmosphere.
These space-based weather control techniques are a very down-to-earth and very spectacular consequence of Russia's little-known dominance in space. They are one aspect of the radical change in the East-West balance of power which has taken place under the umbrella of space power. The Kremlin has no intention of letting the situation be reversed once again to the pre-1977 situation, when the United States held sway by virtue of its secretly continuing, military moon program.
By the same token, the Pentagon is equally determined to bring about exactly such a reversal. One way to undo Russia's space power would be to strike at the space logistics network within the Soviet Union--the Soviet space bases. To do that, nothing short of a nuclear first strike by the United States will suffice. That is why the U. S. secretly shifted onto a first strike nuclear strategy some five years ago (AL#37), as has become increasingly evident in issues such as the MX missile controve rsy.
Having lost their former power in Russia at the hands of the new anti-Bolshevik Kremlin (AL#38), the Bolsheviks who now control the Pentagon have already tried twice to carry out an actual first strike against Russia. The first time was in the wake of the hostage-taking in Iran and Russia's invasion of Afghanistan, early in 1980 (AL#53, 54). The second time was in September 1982 (AL#79). But both attempts failed — thwarted by the very Soviet space power which the Pentagon wishes to destroy. Now efforts are underway to recycle for yet a third attempt at a first strike against Russia (AL#80), but that is no longer the only strategic avenue being pursued.
After logistics, the weakest link in the Soviet space triad is the fleet of cosmos interceptor ASAT's. These were the first leg of the triad to be deployed in 1977 because it was up to them to establish near-earth space control. Like air superiority fighters in air warfare, the cosmos interceptors established a protective umbrella in space. This allowed the other two legs of the triad to be deployed: the hovering cosmospheres and shuttle craft to the moon, using orbiting space stations as stepping stones.
Five and six years ago, the United States had no means by which to attack any part of the Russian space triad directly, once it was deployed. The only possible attack would have been against the ground bases in Russia, so that is how planning proceeded. But now the United States has its own ASAT weapon, and the Pentagon plans to use it to break the Soviet control of space near earth. If that can be done, the next step could be to re-establish a permanent American military presence in space.
That in turn could set the stage for attacks by the United States against the other two legs of the Soviet space triad — the hovering cosmospheres and the moon bases. All this would take time and be very difficult. But if Russia's control of near space can be cracked, it is at least possible.
Last April in Interim News Alert #2 (sent complimentarily to former AUDIO LETTER tape subscribers) we reported on the surprise first use of an American anti-satellite weapon. The American ASAT is a 3, 000-pound, 18-foot long missile with a small infrared homing warhead. It is launched into space at high altitude from an F-15 fighter. Supposedly it has yet to be flight tested, and operational deployment will be at McChord AFB, Washington, and Langley AFB, Virginia. But last December 28, 1982, an ASAT was fired from an F-15 at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico. The target, which it hit, was Cosmos 1402 —a Soviet cosmos interceptor. It was the first time a Russian ASAT had been destroyed by an American ASAT.
This sets the stage for a possible sudden U. S. offensive in the near future against Russia's entire orbiting fleet of cosmos interceptors. F-15 fighters are deployed all around the United States, Europe and the world. Every one of them potentially is a launching vehicle for the new ASAT missile. The Russians are worried —and not without reason—that one of these days a coordinated worldwide operation will take place under control of the USAF Space Command. F-15's would take off from widely separate air bases, each with an ASAT missile slung underneath. Acting on tracking data from NORAD, each would launch its missile at an approaching cosmos interceptor.
If all of the American ASAT's were as successful as the one fired from White Sands last December, the results for Russia would be catastrophic. Within a matter of minutes, all of the cosmos interceptors orbiting worldwide would be put out of action.
Should that happen, the Russians know very well that it will be followed by action as rapidly as possible against the rest of their space triad. Rather than permit that to happen, it is certain that the Soviet Space Command would take retaliatory steps of some kind. At a minimum there would be space warfare, the most intense since the Battle of the Harvest Moon in September 1977. And there is a very real risk that the struggle for space could break out into a far more dangerous open nuclear confrontation between the United States and Russia.
The stakes were increased still further last April by the hidden, piggy-back military mission of Space Shuttle #6. As we reported in Interim News Alert #2, the mishap in which the TDRS communications satellite went into a faulty orbit was not accidental, but deliberate. The purpose of it all was to place the IUS rocket booster in an orbit where it would periodically approach Russia's early warning satellites stationed 22, 300 miles above the equator. The IUS booster had been modified, equipped with a cluster of ASAT warheads for use suddenly someday as part of a future first strike against Russia.
As a footnote to the April charade in space, it should be noticed that the TDRS satellite did succeed eventually in mak-its way to final orbit. Tiny maneuvering thrusters designed to keep the satellite precisely positioned in space over the next 10 years were fired repeatedly over a period of weeks. On June 29 it finally arrived on station. This was possible only because the TDRS satellite inexplicably just "happened" to have 1300 pounds of fuel aboard instead of the 200 which will be needed for station-keeping over the next 10 years. If anyone doubts that the whole situation was planned, just think about that 1100 pounds of extra fuel. Space missions are always precisely optimized, with weight held to an absolute minimum.
With a cost-to-orbit of at least $6, 000/pound, the cost to put that 1100 extra pounds of supposedly needless fuel into geostationary orbit would be at least $6, 600, 000. That makes no sense at all unless NASA knew in advance that the extra fuel would be needed. . . just as it was.
By means of the supposedly malfunctioning IUS rocket booster, the USAF Space Command tried in April to achieve an ASAT capability at the high geostationary orbit level. It did not work. In mid-April Andropov issued his first call for anti-satellite arms control. The timing of his statement, shortly after the TDRS mission, was not accidental. When the USAF Space Command tried to check out the hidden ASAT system aboard the abandoned booster in space, they got some bad news. There was no return signal. Russian space weapons had struck.
The IUS rocket booster used to push the TDRS satellite up from the Space Shuttle toward geostationary orbit is supposed to become a workhorse for many missions. It was scheduled to be used in the Shuttle #8 mission this month to place a second TDRS satellite in geostationary orbit. It was also scheduled to be used in a strictly military, secret mission late this year on Space Shuttle #10.
Russia's unexpected disabling of the ASAT warhead system on the abandoned IUS booster last April changed all that. The whole schedule of Space Shuttle missions over the next year or so has been thrown into disarray. The joint Air Force-NASA military shuttle planners know that all missions scheduled to use the IUS rocket booster will be eyed very carefully by the Russians for awhile.
On May 6, NASA announced that the planned second TDRS satellite would not be launched after all on Space Shuttle #8, claiming that the alleged "malfunction" of the IUS rocket last April was not understood. On July 12, the Air Force said that an oil pressure loss in an engine seal had "probably" caused the problem. As of now, it is being claimed that it may take most of a year to correct the problem.
Meanwhile, Space Shuttle schedules are being juggled left and right to accommodate the coverup of April's unsuccessful military ploy in space. The second TDRS satellite launching, originally planned for this month's Space Shuttle #8, has been moved back to Space Shuttle #12 next year. The secret military mission intended for Space Shuttle #10 late this year has been moved back a full year to Space Shuttle #15. Now there is talk of reversing the order of Shuttles #12 and #13--flying #13 first. And so on.
The April attempt to put American ASAT weapons into a high, looping orbit where they could attack geostationary satellites has turned into a fiasco. One major fallout so far is to seriously jeopardize the Spacelab 1 mission this fall. Space-lab is an orbiting science laboratory built by the European Space Agency (ESA). It has been planned from the beginning in coordination with NASA, to be orbited by the Space Shuttle.
Spacelab is designed to collect enormous amounts of scientific information--so much that two TDRS communications satellites were essential for the mission to be 100% completed. Thanks to the joint Air Force-NASA military machinations using the Shuttle, the chances of a "100%" Spacelab mission have gone up in smoke. At best, there will be only one TDRS satellite available--the one that finished creeping up to orbit in late June.
That will limit Spacelab to only 60%-7 0% of its planned objectives. And because the first TDRS satellite was forced to reach orbit so far behind schedule, checkout of its systems is also far behind schedule. The Spacelab mission, after repeated delays, has now been moved back to October 28. ESA has now told NASA that any further delays could leave ESA without any money left at all for the joint mission.
It is hard to imagine that a scientific mission as major and as long in the planning as Spacelab would end up being abandoned. But if that should happen, the cause will be directly traceable to military tampering with the Space Shuttle program.
The Soviets have been monitoring American progress in the ASAT anti-satellite program, and obviously are becoming increasingly concerned. On August 18, Soviet President Yuri Andropov proposed controls on ASAT weapons, and his words were underlined by space-based weather modification.
Artificial Storms: Hurricane Alicia, Tropical Storm Barry
Three years ago this month in August 1980, the U. S. Gulf Coast was threatened by Hurricane Allen. The previous month Dr. Beter had given a warning that hurricanes unlike anything seen before were in prospect, due to new Soviet weather modification techniques (AL#56). Hurricane Allen lived up to that warning. It swept across the Caribbean as the "hurricane of the century, " with winds up to 160 mph.
It was an artificial storm, generated at sea and guided to its destination by Soviet weather controllers. It defied weather forecasters and the laws of chance by threading its way precisely through the Caribbean, between Cuba and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and into the Gulf of Mexico. Then, just as it was poised to terrorize the Gulf Coast, it abruptly fell apart. As Dr. Beter reported in detail (AL#57), the Russian weather controllers had made a last-minute mistake. But they had learned.
As reported then, Hurricane Allen had been intended to strike three target areas, the first of which was the Houston-Galveston area. This month, three years later, Hurricane Alicia succeeded where Hurricane Allen had failed. It was done with a new refinement in the Russian storm-control system, and carried out with surgical precision.
In its timing, its target, its behavior and its ferocity, Hurricane Alicia was designed to send a message. A week later the message was reinforced by means of Tropical Storm Barry, which struck Florida.
Storms Alicia and Barry had in common one major new ingredient. Unlike Hurricane Allen and some other storms, these two did not begin with a blast from the moon to create a storm cell far at sea. Instead, in both cases the Russian weather controllers seized upon localized, naturally occurring disturbances and whipped them up into major storms.
The seed which grew into Hurricane Alicia was a mere thunderstorm over southern Louisiana. Cosmosphere squadrons hovering in the upper atmosphere used their charged particle beam weapons to seed the clouds electrically and guide them out over the warm waters of the Gulf to intensify. As it grew to hurricane force, Alicia approached the Texas coast and then paused 80 miles off Galveston to intensify further. Then at the appointed time, and with winds reaching 115 mph, Alicia moved ashore.
The Russians believe in symbolism, and when they use any of their weapons to send a message, they characteristically do so in a symbolic way. As Andropov spoke to U.S. senators of the urgent need for anti-satellite arms control in space, a storm guided by space weapons bore down on the nominal center of America's manned space program—the NASA Manned Spaceflight Center, 22 miles southeast of Houston on Interstate 45. Hurricane Alicia was guided ashore at the west end of Galveston Island, which was not the target: damage there was incidental to Soviet objectives. The hurricane headed inland parallel to, but west of Interstate 45. . . toward NASA and Houston.
As Alicia approached NASA/Houston, the target area was on the right-hand side of the storm. On that side, the forward motion of the storm itself adds to the wind speed due to circulation around the eye. Thus, the wind speeds were much higher than if Alicia had been steered ashore, say, to the east of Galveston. At the NASA space center, the hurricane smashed windows, broke doors, blew down scores of trees, and knocked out electrical power. As the NASA center switched over to emergency generators, the storm pounded onward into Houston itself. Winds up to 94 mph left skyscrapers pockmarked with thousands of missing windows, the shards of which littered the downtown area and caused the area to be sealed off. In its wake, Hurricane Alicia left over a million people without electrical power. The storm has been blamed for at least 20 fatalities and some $1. 2 billion in damages, making it the most expensive storm in U. S. history.
Hurricane Alicia was a devastating object lesson to remind American space warfare specialists that they will be playing with fire if they continue using the Space Shuttle in an attempt to strike at Russia's space power. Days later a second storm, Tropical Storm Barry, was used to reiterate the point.
Like Hurricane Alicia, Tropical Storm Barry was built up from an initially minor natural disturbance. It began as a so-called tropical wave, a low-order system of clouds and showers which meandered westward from the Atlantic toward Florida. As of 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 23, it was still just a tropical wave southeast of the tip of Florida. Then squadrons of cosmospheres went to work. The winds started intensifying, the rains became heavier, and the first hint of an eye began to form as it strengthened to the "tropical depression" level. It continued to strengthen fast. By 11 p.m. that same evening— a matter of just 5 hours--it was packing 45-mph winds and had become full-fledged Tropical Storm Barry. Then it started heading northward. . . toward Cape Canaveral.
The following day the countdown began for the upcoming night launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger for mission #8. The approaching storm built up to 55-mph winds, gusting to 60. Due to the extraordinarily rapid buildup of the storm, it was already too late to move the Shuttle back indoors for safety. All that could be done was to tie it down on the pad and hope.
On this flight, as on Space Shuttle #7 in June, there is no military payload. Therefore the Russian weather warriors stopped short of building up Barry to a full hurricane capable of ruining the Shuttle: the Kremlin's purpose was to deter, not to provoke.
Tropical Storm Barry headed straight west on August 25 with winds just below the danger level for the Shuttle, passing over Melbourne. This placed Cape Canaveral, 20 miles north, on the high-energy right-hand side of the storm, exactly as had been done previously to Houston with Hurricane Alicia.
The Russian message was clear: had another secret military payload been aboard this Shuttle, they could have disabled it on the pad by means of a stronger storm.
The new Soviet capability for generation of major storms out of small initial disturbances renders Russia's weather warfare capabilities more flexible than before. It is no longer essential to generate big storms far out at sea and then drag them to target areas, though this can still be done.
Now it is possible to seize upon small disturbances which are always occurring naturally in coastal areas and whip them up into major storms which can be guided precisely to nearby targets. The Russians have chosen to demonstrate this new capability as a way to underscore their determination not to allow the United States to use anti-satellite warfare against them successfully.
Our Lord Jesus Christ will judge the new Kremlin leaders as to whether their methods are justified or not. Meanwhile, perhaps He is pronouncing judgment already on an America which increasingly ignores Him. We are following lying leaders, and their lies are causing mounting hardships for us all.
Next scheduled issue: Sept. 9, 1983
NewsALERT is published 24 times per year by Audio Books, Inc. Headquarters address: 1629 K St., NW, #5092; Washington, DC 2O006. For faster service write to: NewsALERT, P. O. Box 276, Savage, MD 20763. Current subscription rates: $45.00/year in U. S. A. &t Canada; $70.00/year other countries. Outside U.S.A. please remit by international money order in U.S. dollars.
|Peter Beter News Alert 2: Setback in the Space Shuttle ASAT Program & Artificial Storms: Hurricane Alicia, Tropical Storm Barry|