Star Wars Does It Again

In the latest dubious scheme for strategic-missile defense, the Pentagon is secretly building an atomic-powered rocket

In the eight years since it was founded, the Strategic Defense Initiative has poured $24 billion into various schemes for knocking down ballistic missiles, many of them dubious. But no Star Wars project seems more clearly -- or appropriately -- destined for the technological trash heap than the one that came to light last week. According to documents made public by the Federation of American Scientists for the express purpose of torpedoing the scheme, the Pentagon has for several years been secretly developing a new kind of booster rocket -- code-named Timberwind -- that would loft giant weapons into space on...

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