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DATE=  10/23/97
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-221640
TITLE=PENTAGON/LASER TEST (S-ONLY)
BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE
DATELINE=PENTAGON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  THE U-S DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SAYS LAST WEEK'S TEST-FIRING 
OF A LASER BEAM TARGETING AN AIR FORCE SATELLITE FAILED TO 
PROVIDE THE PENTAGON WITH ALL THE INFORMATION IT WANTED ABOUT HOW
VULNERABLE AMERICAN SATELLITES MIGHT BE TO A LASER ATTACK BY A 
HOSTILE NATION.  MORE ABOUT A CONTROVERSIAL TEST THAT HAS RAISED 
NEW CONCERNS IN RUSSIA FROM  V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT NICK SIMEONE 
AT THE PENTAGON.  
TEXT:  THE PENTAGON IS STILL ASSESSING THE RESULTS BUT IT APPEARS
THE AGING SATELLITE MALFUNCTIONED AFTER IT WAS HIT BY THE LASER 
BEAM AND THEN FAILED TO SEND BACK ALL THE DATA THAT THE ARMY HAD 
HOPED FOR.
SPOKESMAN KEN BACON SAYS THE TWO MINUTE TEST CONDUCTED LAST 
FRIDAY FROM NEW MEXICO'S WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE FELL SHORT OF 
GIVING THE PENTAGON A FULL PICTURE OF HOW VULNERABLE AMERICAN 
SATELLITES MAY BE TO ENEMY LASERS.  
                        /// BACON ACT ///
         WE DID NOT GET AS MUCH VISUAL INFORMATION, THAT IS 
         INFORMATION BACK FROM THE SENSORS ON THE SATELLITE AS WE
         WANTED.  WE WANTED VISUAL INFORMATION THAT WOULD TELL US
         ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THE LASER ON THE SENSORS AT HIGH 
         POWER.
                         /// END ACT ///
THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THE ARMY HAS FIRED A LASER AT AN ORBITING
SATELLITE SEVERAL HUNDRED KILOMETERS ABOVE EARTH, AND IT HAS 
SPARKED CONCERNS FROM THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS CRITICS 
IN THE UNITED STATES WHO WORRY IT MARKS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A 
SPACE BASED ARMS RACE.  THE PENTAGON DENIES THAT AND MAINTAINS 
THIS EXPERIMENT WAS PURELY FOR DEFENSIVE REASONS AND VIOLATED NO 
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES. (SIGNED)
NEB/NJS/GKT/PT
23-Oct-97 4:20 PM EDT (2020 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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