Monday, April 12, 2010

480 Million Needles Floating In Space

The dumb things people will do for war. I just read about this 1963 experiment, where the US launched a package of 480 million tiny needles into space, in order to create an artificial ionosphere that we could bounce radio signals off. The idea was to provide a backup method of communications in case our undersea cables were taken out by the enemy.

It "worked" for a couple of months, and then scattered to the point that it would no longer provide any effect, other than to obscure communications attempts beyond the orbit altitude of these needles, which it probably still does to some extent today. On top of that, this blanket of space junk is one of the many things that modern spacecraft have to avoid when doing, for example, real advancement for mankind.

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