I really don’t need a reminder about this – the date is burned in my memory. On this date I listened to Ronald Reagan deliver his talk about his vision for the technological protection of the USA, and I stared at the screen wondering what the hell he knew that I didn’t. Now that I know what it is he knew, I’m still wide-eyed and open-mouthed.
Reading the OP and that link, it’s not clear to me what you mean by “Now that I know what it is he knew…”. Care to enlighten us?
Would the correct answer be “Jack Squat”?
“Jack Squat” is an over-estimate of what Reagan and all his entire administration knew about missile defense. The American Physical society gathered a commission of experienced weapons scientists - including Nobel Laureates in laser research. The commission’s report on Directed Energy Weapons is a detailed list of the huge barriers to a “Star Wars” system - in technology and engineering and fundamental science. The only thing that has changed since the report was issued in the late 80s in the calendar. The gigabucks thrown down this rat hole could have been spent on something useful.
As a kid I remember hearing “Star Wars” being mentioned on the news during supper and I was always sad that they never showed the damn movie.
It seemed nuts when he proposed it and I’m just pathetically grateful Reagan didn’t manage to expand the arms race into space. Fortunately the Soviet Union gave up before that happened, but I’m not buying the idea that it was inevitable that should happen. It could have just as easily led to Gorbachev being pushed aside for a new Stalin.
Within the past 5 years I was seriously dismayed to learn that SF writer Jerry Pournelle had been one of the people advocating it to Reagan. (I forget if Larry Niven was involved as well.) That led me to look up Isaac Asimov’s take on the issue. Pournelle talked to him about it and assured him that the scientists and engineers could make it work. Asimov answered that he didn’t doubt their ability, just their sanity.
Anyone else think that the concept should not have been called the “Star Wars” system in the media and should have been called the “Missile Command” system instead?
I’m sure that the management of Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, BAE, etc. are very greatful.
BTW, has ANY anti-missile system ever worked? The Raytheon system h (modified Patriot) has had uncertain success, has the Israeli anti-missile system actually worked?