CONFRONTATION IN SPACE by G. Harry Stine

CONFRONTATION IN SPACE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Loosely organized, poorly argued military futurology--focusing on the prospects for war in space as the US, USSR, Europe, Japan, India, and others extend their offensive capabilities beyond Earth's atmosphere. The current $10 billion-a-year US military space program supports a fleet of intelligence-gathering satellites and, in part, the space shuttle; under discussion are designs for a reusable vehicle capable of putting a staggering 424,000 kg payload into orbit. The Russians, whose space effort is entirely military, have a similar satellite program; they're also developing a shuttle, and have exhumed their TT50 design with a 159,000 kg payload. Undoubtedly, then, a space war is feasible, or will be soon--a prospect Stine seems to view with equanimity, if not enthusiasm. He parades the various weapons that might be used: mass drivers, recoilless cannon, satellite killers, EMP (electromagnetic pulse generated by nuclear explosion), high energy lasers, and particle beam weapons (research is well advanced); the more distant horrors include orbiting hypersonic bombers, space espionage, and cyborgs. Military jargon and acronyms proliferate, cluttering the text with GEOs, HEOs and LEOs, not to mention HLLVs, ELINT and NAVSTAR. Heady stuff for the hi-tech set, but riddled with hyperbole, oversimplification, and sloganeering.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1981
Publisher: Prentice-Hall