Exclusive: Russia attempting to develop nuclear space weapon to destroy satellites with massive energy wave, sources familiar with intel say | Space

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Russia is trying to develop a nuclear space weapon that would destroy satellites by creating a massive energy wave when detonated, potentially crippling a vast swath of the commercial and government satellites that the world below depends on to talk on cell phones, pay bills, and surf the internet, according to three sources familiar with the intelligence.

These sources gave CNN a more detailed understanding of what Russia is working on – and the threat it could pose – than the US government has previously disclosed.

Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, set off a frenzy in Washington on Wednesday when he issued a statement saying his panel “had information concerning a serious national security threat.” By Friday, President Joe Biden had publicly confirmed that Turner was referring to a new Russian nuclear anti-satellite capability — but officials have steadfastly refused to discuss it further, citing the highly classified nature of the intelligence.

The weapon is still under development and is not yet in orbit, Biden administration officials have emphasized publicly. But if used, officials say, it would cross a dangerous rubicon in the history of nuclear weapons and could cause extreme disruptions to everyday life in ways that are difficult to predict.

This kind of new weapon — known generally by military space experts as a nuclear EMP — would create a pulse of electromagnetic energy and a flood of highly charged particles that would tear through space to disrupt other satellites winging around Earth.

Biden on Friday emphasized publicly that there is “no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world with what Russia is doing at the moment.”…

read more www.cnn.com

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