January 17, 2012

Blackstar & the Space Shuttle as Nuclear Bombers

Imaginary depiction of a Blackstar mission.

Thanks Anonymous

For the information on Polyus. This is interesting but I'm thinking more along the lines of military spaceplanes like Blackstar with a nuclear missiles to Earth capability.

Blackstar may well not exist. However it would be interesting to know:

- whether a project ever existed?

- whether and why the project stopped (like FOBS, Polyus and perhaps Aurora)?

- if Blackstar is still a slow research project how quickly could it become a mature, deployable technology?

Why is the Space Shuttle still flying?

It bothers me that 33% (2 out of 6) operational Space Shuttles (STS) have blown up (Challenger then Columbia) and each mission now seems a dangerous drama - YET the US still operates them.

Even the national prestige argument has become more minor because the public is bored by them and a third have failed/crashed.
Why would any country operate a manned device with such a murderous failure rate?

The answer may lie in: the Space Shuttles giving the US unique military capabilities (ie: capabilities Russia and China don't have).

We need to keep in mind the USAF:

- planned military spaceplanes before the Shuttle

- wished to acquire Shuttles (to be launched at Vandenberg) for military purposes, and

- used Shuttles for spy satellite deployment.

There may, however, be a more compelling capability - that is as a first strike orbiting platform for nuclear bombs/missiles to "win" nuclear wars.

Without pressing military capabilities the economics and dangers of the Shuttle have never made sense and never will.

Do you have any information to support/refute these theories?