Military planners foresee a future filled with anti-satellites and space mines. They say we also need orbiting laser and particle beam weapons that focus killer rays of energy to zap satellites, enemy warheads in flight, or even blast targets on Earth. Then there are the thunder rods, that can be fired from orbit. These long and slender kinetic-energy devices destroy by using their own mass and high velocity.
Space-based weapons are the topic of a new report authored by think-tank experts at RAND. The study does not argue for or against space weapons, says Bob Preston of RAND. The intent is to sort through the realities and myths surrounding space weapons.