US government unable to pull off a MIRACL

The US military`s decision to test-fire a million-watt, 4-µm chemical laser against a surveillance satellite in space, approved by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and senior US government officials in early October (see p. 20), is uncertain as Laser Focus World goes to print. One test subsequent to the approval was postponed due to a software problem, while a second was scrubbed because of cloudy skies over the launch site at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Department of D

US government unable to pull off a MIRACL

The US military`s decision to test-fire a million-watt, 4-µm chemical laser against a surveillance satellite in space, approved by Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen and senior US government officials in early October (see p. 20), is uncertain as Laser Focus World goes to print. One test subsequent to the approval was postponed due to a software problem, while a second was scrubbed because of cloudy skies over the launch site at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Department of Defense officials now say that deterioration of the satellite`s power supply and of its orbit may cause cancellation of the experiment, the window for which closed in mid- to late-October. The USA has no other satellite that would be appropriate for the test, officials said.

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