Here’s why putting a missile defense system in space could be a bad idea | Science News

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Here’s why putting a missile defense system in space could be a bad idea

The protective technology could also be used to shoot down other countries’ satellites

By
11:52am, April 17, 2018
missile defense system

ROCKET BLOCKER  The United States’ ground-based missile defense system, shown here in a test conducted at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, aims to protect the U.S. from ballistic missiles.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A beefed-up missile defense system might seem like a good idea in a time of heightened nuclear tensions. But such enhancements could have dangerous consequences.

The current U.S. missile defense system isn’t all it was cracked up to be, performing unreliably in tests, physicist and missile defense expert Laura Grego argued April 14 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. Enhancing the system’s power, however, by building missile defense in space, for example, might put the world on a slippery slope to space warfare, she warned.

The worries come against the backdrop of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile tests (SN: 8/5/17, p. 18) and an upcoming missile defense review from the U.S. Department of Defense, expected in May. That review could accelerate efforts to revamp the current system, including schemes

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