This unusual little article from Russia's English language Sputnik site was sent by Mr. N.T., and it's perhaps a bit of message-sending and perhaps even a commentary on that strange article that appear in RT a little over a week ago about spy satellites being disguised as space junk that were "state affiliated." We'll get back to that in a moment, but there is a lot to consider in this article even without considering it in a wider context:
One might be inclined to say "so what?" in response to this article. "So the Russians used a ground based laser to snap some pictures of an American spy satellite. Big deal." Well, it is a big deal. Consider only the fact that Russia released the photographs. Why would it do this?
One answer lies in the fact that the pictures - which we assume were released in a much blurrier form than was probably actually the case - were taken with a ground based laser. Consider the implications: the laser had to pass through scores of miles of atmospheric distortion, and yet, the satellite is clearly visible. Now, scale up the power output of that laser considerably, and one has not just a picture-taker, but a satellite blinder, or even, perhaps, a "satellite zapper." In other words, the picture was made possible through phase conjugation, the process that to some extent reverses the distortions caused by the atmosphere. The same technique and much higher power would compensate for atmospheric reductions in the power a laser could deliver on the load end, i.e., on the satellite. The message, and there can be little doubt it was a message, is simple: if we can take pictures with a ground based laser, we can do far more.
But what about that wider context of the story that Russia had discovered, and was concerned about, spy satellites disguised a space junk that were "state affiliated"? In that context, there's perhaps another message, maybe even several. The most obvious is of course that Russia is simply saying that the "space junk" satellites that were "state affiliated" belong to the USA. However, this seems to be something we can take for granted. The original RT article implied that this was fairly common practice for nations that had such capabilities. But another possibility is that Russia is sending a message to whomever those "state affiliated" satellites may belong to.
In that case, the message is more subtle, and with it, comes the high octane speculation: "If we can take pictures of American satellites with ground based lasers, we can(and probably already have) taken pictures of those 'state affiliated' satellites too." This implies in its turn the possibility that Russia (and other nations with similar capabilities, including the USA) know who those satellites belong to. At this juncture, the message becomes more subtle, for it then becomes coupled with the implied weaponization capability of those ground-based lasers: We can take pictures of it, we know (or strongly suspect) who those satellites belong to, and we can blind, or "zap" them, utilizing the same technology at much higher power."
And all of this means something else, and I hope the significance of this point is clear: Russia is sending messages about space, chapter by chapter so to speak. If that is the case, then it is likely that the other space stories we've been following is of a piece. What it all means is that the book is not written yet, but it also means that there is a real contest going on over head, and for the moment, the nature of that contest remains unclear. Perhaps, just perhaps, this story is also related to the planned expansion of ionospheric heater arrays in Europe. Time will tell of course, but in the meantime, I don't think we've heard the last of these types of stories.
Quite the contrary...
See you on the flip side...