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24 Oct, 2022 09:53

Cold War Weapons | Lasers: Episode 1

Cold War Weapons | Lasers: Episode 1

In the late 1950s, the Americans were able to deploy a massive number of ICBMs, whereas the USSR had no systems that could intercept them. For this reason, Soviet scientists proposed developing a laser weapon to take down intercontinental warheads with the help of laser radiation.

That’s how a super-secret arms race began. After the Terra-3 testing site was launched it became one of the USSR’s most secretive military projects. Scientists managed to build an experimental laser installation, a beam guidance and retention system, as well as a powerful laser locator that could accurately determine the coordinates of a target, obtain data on its shape, and plot its flight path. In 1984, the American spy shuttle Challenger was supposed to investigate the Terra-3 site; however, the crew did not expect that the laser located there could disrupt the spacecraft’s electronic systems some 400km away. How was that possible?

Watch "Cold War Weapons|Lasers: Episode 1" on RTD website.

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