[FPSPACE] Sambaluk on David, 'Spies and Shuttles: NASA's Secret Relationships with the DOD and CIA'

William Keel wkeel at ua.edu
Tue Apr 7 09:40:48 EDT 2015

On Apr 7, 2015, at 8:11 AM, Peter Pesavento wrote:

> Keith,
> I disagree.  I think that, in my opinion, that this “fear of nuclear  
> attack from space” was merely Russian “transference”—that is, they  
> themselves were concretely looking into concepts and methods to  
> nuclear attack North America from space using (Soviet) space shuttle- 
> derived delivery vehicles.  Both of the BOR type, as well as the  
> Buran type (suitably modified of course).  And disclosures show that  
> such things were considered by the Russians, and I think that these  
> were being considered whether or not the Americans were allegedly  
> planning such attacks from the US Space Shuttle.
> So the Russians were just thinking that--if they were thinking about  
> it, then the Americans MUST have been also thinking about it.  And  
> then you add on what I term the “usual selective memory display” of  
> Russian propaganda seen in their publications (recall most of this  
> “US Space Shuttle attacks from orbit” meme was released by Russian  
> media outlets well prior to their own disclosures post 2005 about  
> their own nuclear attack plans from space using shuttle-derived  
> vehicles), and there you have it: The Americans are the scheming and  
> perfidious ones, while the Russians were merely “reacting” to what  
> they saw the Americans doing.
I recall that Anton Pervushin, in Bitva za Zvezdy, suggested a more  
subtle version to explain the development decision of
craft which clearly were set to closely match Shuttle capabilities. In  
the 1970s, their analysts looked at both performance
and economic claims for the Shuttle fleet and concluded that the  
claims of such low costs and high flight rate couldn't
be met. Therefore, they reasoned, that wasn't why the US was  
developing the Shuttle, it must be something less transparent.
It was already on record that there would be DOD use, so they hit on  
that as the "real" reason and decided they needed to
match the mission capabilities (hence a vehicle with similar size,  
wings and crossrange).

And their purely economic analysis was correct as far as it went (no  
big secret, folks in other NASA branches like astrophysics
have told me they worked that out as well).

Bill Keel

William C. Keel                                        205-348-1641  
Professor, Physics and Astronomy      205-348-5051 (fax)
Box 870324                                              205-348-5050  
University of Alabama                             http://astronomy.ua.edu/keel
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0324, U.S.A.    wkeel at ua.edu

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