A New Arms Race in Space?

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A year ago, without warning, China shot one of its own satellites out of the sky. The U.S. protested loudly. But what a difference a year makes. The U.S. Navy is preparing to take out one of our own ailing spy satellites with a ship-launched missile — perhaps tonight.

The bus-sized satellite carries half a ton of toxic fuel — a potential disaster if it crashes to earth in a populated area. But some critics think this isn't about public safety. It's about testing America's missile defenses and extending military power into space.

This hour, On Point: shooting down a satellite, and fears of an arms race in space.Guests:

Joan Johnson-Freese, chair of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College and author of "Space as a Strategic Asset."

Peter Brookes, senior fellow for national security affairs at the Asian Studies Center, he served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

Geoff Forden, research scientist at MIT's Program on Science, Technology and Society.

Noah Shachtman, contributing editor to Wired magazine.

This program aired on February 20, 2008.


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