U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE TEST SHOT DOWN COLUMBIA SPACE
by Kahn, guest columnist. [February
[WeeklyUniverse.com] I have put this together after doing some research, and I strongly believe
I'm right. Here is the truth:
At 0815, Columbia began its de-orbit burn.
At 0852, just over California, the first indications of problems begin
to emerge. Three brake-line sensors in the left wheel well show an
unusual temperature rise.
At 0853, there is a loss of temperature sensors in the hydraulics systems
in the trailing edge of the left wing. Temperature sensors in the
left wheel well show an abnormal rise -- 30-40 degrees -- in five minutes. The shuttle is currently over California.
0854, as Columbia moves over Nevada, sensors on the main fuselage above
the left wing show a temperature rise of 60 degrees.
0855, yet another sensor in the left wheel well shows a temperature rise.
0856, sensors in the left main gear tire-wheel continue to report a temperature
0857, skin temperature sensors fail.
0858, the shuttle reached New Mexico. Three temperature sensors on
the left side of the vehicle stopper working. At this stage, Columbia
at an altitude of nearly 40 miles; its speed is in excess of Mach 18 (18
times the speed of sound -- 13,200 mph).
onboard sensors indicate the left-hand drag is increasing. Two of the four
yaw jets on the right side fire for one-and-a-half seconds to try to correct
the vehicle's attitude.
clock work at 0900 EST the shuttle breaks up. A top secret test successfully
concluded right on time.
* The Columbia Crew
Air Force pilot Col. Ilan Ramon was a living symbol of Israeli-American
aerospace cooperation, which has included the Arrow interception technology
incorporated into Patriot missiles.
no bystander in the Middle East conflict. He received flight training
at a U.S. Air Force base in Utah in the 1970s, became a pilot
in the Israeli
Air Force, and was part of an Israeli bombing mission that destroyed an
Iraqi nuclear power plant in 1986.
military role aboard Columbia went beyond symbolic value. His research
mission involved a top secret test for which he sacrificed his life. He was probably transmitting test data to Space and Missile Defense Command
up to the very last second. One or two others were probably aware
of the experiment and sacrificed their lives for a greater cause.
* The Top Secret Test
all know about the U.S.'s National Missile Defense (NMB) program. Russia and China have condemned the NMB, because it violates the ABM (Anti-Ballistic
Missile) treaty that the U.S. signed with Russia -- and also because it
will spark a new weapons race.
past five years, various NMB-related technologies have been tested. While world attention has been diverted to far less successful BMD programs
involving the Patriot Advanced capability-3 (Pac-3 and the Israeli Arrow
2) missile system, the more promising technologies have been kept under
wraps and given a low profile.
technologies include Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), a joint project
between the U.S. and Israel. Successful THEL tests were conducted
from New Mexico's White Sands missile range in 2000/2001, where is shot
down Katyusha rockets and incoming artillery projectiles.
system uses a high-energy, deuterium fluoride chemical invisible beam. The laser produces and amplifies light of a particular wavelength, or color,
which is then directed at a target with great accuracy.
In a typical
engagement scenario, when a missile is launched, upon detection by the
THEL fire control, the radar establishes trajectory information about the
incoming missile, then passes the target to the pointer-tracker subsystem
(PTS), which includes the beam director. The PTS tracks the target
optically, then begins a "fine tracking" process for THEL's beam director,
which targets THEL's high-energy laser. The energy of the laser heats
the target, which causes it to explode.
laser is powerful enough, it can generate very high temperatures where
the light falls, melting or vaporizing the target.
completed in 2001 concluded that the missile interceptor has "lots of promise"
and further development should be pursued, primarily in enabling system's
air transportability, including the type of transport aircraft it should
fit on (C-130, C-17 or C-5).
2002, military scientists were trying to develop the laser with a greater
range, that can follow and hit fast-moving objects at distances ranging
from tens of kilometers.
same time last year, the US Air Force and Missile Defense Agency were poised
to begin flying the first Airborne Laser (ABL) test aircraft. Loitering
at altitudes around 40,000 feet, the ABL system is designed to destroy
boosting ballistic missiles with a multi-megawatt laser beam that travels
at light speed over great distances. Its high-energy beam (about
the diameter of a basketball) will heat a missile's side until it fails
structurally, then tumbles to earth.
a laser with a higher range was developed sometime last year, and the only
thing missing was the actual test against an incoming ICBM in the terminal
phase (i.e., when a missile or warhead enters the atmosphere).
* Columbia's Secret Role
a high-power laser to shoot an ICBM can ignite a serious rift between Russia
and America, triggering a new Ballistic Missile race, so secrecy is vital. Yet such a test is difficult to keep secret. Hence the need for an
alternative target to an ICBM entering the terminal phase -- a target that
no one will suspect of being part of a secret missile test.
was one of the oldest in its class, and was probably due for decommissioning.
It was the best alternative available, since the initial re-entry of a
shuttle can imitate an incoming ICBM and can be targeted as such within
the terminal phase. Also, there is the advantage of having a two-way
live test data feed.
system started tracking the shuttle over California, aiming the laser at
it from New Mexico, and soon afterwards, within the expected time frame,
Columbia broke up, scattering across Texas.
collected, the test was a success, and seven astronauts gave their lives
in the line of duty for greater good.
mourns, suspecting a major malfunction. Various theories are presented,
but none of them are conclusive.
days later, the British get the go-ahead for the early warning system upgrade,
which possibly involves THEL system deployment as well.
* The Coverup
overrates the shuttle disaster story, giving it unexpectedly high coverage,
raising many uncomfortable questions.
arise when external intervention is suggested -- especially after an amateur
photographer from San Francisco comes forward with some unusual
pictures of Columbia. The story is put out of circulation, and
images confiscated are by NASA.
stories come out to debunk any suspicions, including images assumingly
taken by a high resolution US Air Force telescope. The image is far
too blurry and dark, looking like it was taken from an Austin Power movie
rather then a US Air Force telescope.
I put this story out, NASA has tried to remove the possibility of external
intervention by suggesting the problem was in the tire pressure and landing
Copyright 2003 by Kahn.
Kahn may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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