Orbital and space-based weapons include not only weapons of mass destruction but also systems capable of monitoring groups of people or individuals on a global scale and with a high degree of consistency and certainty. The impacts of weapons in space range from a dystopian society in which privacy evaporates to a world shrouded in flames after weapons of mass destruction have been unleashed.
Here are our top 5 space-based weapons systems!
Starships carry immense weight in the field of space-based weapons, because not only can they carry the future of humanity out into the cold darkness of space, they can also be used to carry all sorts of orbital weapons systems. Think Death Star, an anti-planet laser weapon on a spaceship. Because space has far less gravity, much larger structures can be built, enabling far larger and more powerful weapons to be built and put into use.
Imagine a huge metal rod falling from space and penetrating the earth in the middle of a city, potentially with an earthquake following soon thereafter. “Rods of God” has long been speculated as a highly effective means of attacking an opposing force from space. Kinetic rods do not require an explosive or other type of payload to be attached, their energy does the job with ease.
Due to the tiny radar profile, high density, and immense terminal velocity of the objects, kinetic rods pose a significant threat to any target they could be used against, essentially allowing a superior force to drive a projectile into a bunker or other heavily reinforced structure at will, hence the name “Rods of God”.
ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Imagine a modern world where no computers, cars, mobile devices, or any other electricity-dependent devices were operational. EMPs deployed on a large scale could send cities or countries back to the “stone age”, or before such a time that electricity was present.
Many have speculated on the effectiveness of EMP effects, and many agree that with current technology, a large-scale EMP blast would have such little intensity by the time it reached its target, it would be virtually ineffective. Some speculate on the effectiveness of many small, targeted blasts being used, but such a thing has yet to occur.
With recent advances in small and nanosatellite technology, anti-satellite weapons systems are becoming increasingly valuable in order to gain the advantage in terms of satellite population and constellation placement.There have been many instances of weapons being deployed on satellites and anti-satellite weapons systems being tested.
One such instance was the U.S. destroying a defunct spy satellite on Feb. 20, 2008.
Anti-satellite weapons systems include Air-to-Satellite (A2S) missiles, modified ICBM interceptors, modified cruise missiles, and even satellite-based weapons.
Eyes in the Sky
Eyes in the Sky refer to spy and observational satellites or satellite constellations. Many times over, the side with the most accurate and up-to-date information has proved the victor, if for no reason other than knowing where their opponent’s soft spots are. For this reason, satellite surveillance technology slides into this list.
Eyes in the Sky do have other uses, however, they can readily be used to monitor ongoing natural disasters, global climate, and storm systems among many other natural and man-made variables.
Are any of these weapons deployed?
Surveillance satellites and other space-based weapons are deployed, however, they are limited in scope to prevent chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons from being placed in the atmosphere.
Space is not only the next frontier for humanity to expand into and explore, but also a region which represents a frontier of control to some. Space-based weapons have long filled mankind’s fancy, but they are now entering reality as a possible avenue of advancement.
Space weapons have been a source of fascination and awe-inspiring destruction for decades. Such tools have been highlighted in many famous sci-fi titles as Star Wars, Alien, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and many more. Space-based weapons are remembered not only as weapons of mass destruction, but also as precision instruments and tools to advance humanity.
Ultimately, the outcome is not significantly different from the potentials of modern weapons. After all, the world’s governments have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world several times over. The most apparent difference is the scope of damage and restricted time targets have to react.