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    Before Russia’s Satellite Threat, There Were Starfish Prime, Nesting Dolls and Robotic Arms

    Before Russia’s Satellite Threat, There Were Starfish Prime, Nesting Dolls and Robotic Arms

    — What would it mean if used nuclear warheads to destroy U.S. satellites? Your home's electrical and water systems could fail. Aviation, rail and car traffic could come to a halt. Your cellphone could stop working.

    These are among the reasons why there was alarm this week over reports that Russia may be pursuing nuclear weapons in space.

    The White House has said the danger isn't imminent. But reports of the anti-satellite weapon build on longstanding worries about space threats from Russia and . So much of the country's infrastructure is now dependent on U.S. satellite communications — and those satellites have become increasingly vulnerable.

    It would also not be the first time a nuclear warhead has been detonated in space, or the only capability China and Russia are pursuing to disable or destroy a U.S. satellite.

    Here's a look at what's happened in the past, why Russia may be pursuing a nuclear weapon for space now, and what the U.S. is doing about all the space threats it faces.

    The past: Starfish Prime and Project K

    Both Russia and the U.S. have detonated nuclear warheads in space. In the 1960s, little was known about how the relatively new weapons of mass destruction would act in the Earth's atmosphere. Both countries experimented to find out. The Soviet tests were called Project K and took place from 1961 to 1962. The U.S. conducted 11 tests of its own, and the largest, and first…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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