Shooting for the Stars

Space-based defense technology is still well over the horizon

To its supporters, chief among them Ronald Reagan, the notion of a space- based missile defense system holds out the promise of eventually ending the awesome threat posed by the world's nuclear arsenals. To its critics, the idea could worsen the threat by ending any real hope for lasting arms-control agreements and by aborting the work of Soviet and American negotiators meeting in Geneva this week. But to many scientists who are responsible for the technology of the concept rather than its policy implications, Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star Wars, is still little more than, well, pie in...

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