Nuclear Friday: The Homeless Missile

The LGM-118 turned me into a serious amateur student of arms control theory and nuclear strategy. The controversies surrounding its development and deployment between 1979 and 1986 prompted the first really serious public discussion of nuclear weapons policy since the early sixties. And there were protests. LGM-118 was met with as much public opposition in […]

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Nuclear Friday: Panic Mode

Just a short video and commentary post this week. It’s been a rough one. Got to meet the Death Nurse this week. At least that’s what I call her. The point of home hospice care is to keep my dad out of the hospital. That means you can’t call 911, because they’d take him to […]

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Nuclear Friday: It Came from Kwajalein

If you follow defense news you probably noticed that there was an important successful test of the long-awaited midcourse-intercept exoatmospheric kill vehicle. The EKV was  the payload of a Boeing designed Ground Based Interceptor launched from Vandenberg AFB in California. After being accelerated to tremendous speeds to the edge of space, the EKV intercepted an inert […]

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Nuclear Friday: Thrust Issues

I’ve always been a fan of clumsy yet effective workarounds to address technological limitations. One of the clumsiest was JATO, Jet-Assisted Take-Off. That name confused me when I first learned it. It’s not really a jet at all, it’s just little rocket motors stuck onto an aircraft to help it take off. But there wasn’t really much of […]

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Nuclear Friday: Refueling

Metaphors based on military technology sometimes enter popular usage and we forget their origins. Folks used to say “recharging my batteries” back in the late 20th century without knowing that the term came from WWII submarine crews. Diesel-electric submarines of that era had to surface and run their engines on full to recharge their batteries […]

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