Soviet AntiSatellite History

Popular Mechanics has a great post, The Hidden History of the Soviet Satellite-Killer, of the history of Soviet/Russian antisatellite (ASAT) systems.  Did you know the first successful satellite interception test probably happened a little over 45 years ago?  And the Soviets were the ones to do it?

It’s a worthwhile read, if you’re interested.  For the rest of you, it looks like the Soviets/Russians had a pretty comprehensive ASAT program, started not long after the Sputnik 1 satellite launch.  The Soviets, being the secretive paranoids they were (and maybe still are), wanted a way to take out the United States surveillance satellites.  Launching rockets with payloads, from munitions to robotic satellites, able to take out orbiting enemy satellites made sense to the Soviets (they aren’t the only ones–the Chinese are doing this testing even now).

Towards the end of the article, it sounds as if the Russians have continued working on ASAT systems.  They still don’t trust the United States and the rest of the world, it seems (and after this giant hoo-haw, who can blame them).  According to the ASAT wiki, the Russians are one of an ASAT-capable country triad, the other two members being the United States and China.  And China’s been busy, too–you can go here as a launch point/summary of their activities.

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