24 June 2005
Lawmaker Calls For Reviving Space-Based Laser Work
Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

A member of the House Armed Services Committee called June 23 for reviving the development of space-based lasers for missile defense.

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) said that lasers offer more precision and speed than other weapons and that fielding them in space would provide the ultimate "high ground" to defend the United States against ballistic missile attack. Such technology also has the potential to protect U.S. satellites, he said.

Speaking at a Capitol Hill breakfast seminar, Hostettler urged the Bush Administration to show its support for space-based lasers to give them a political boost in Congress.

Past efforts to pursue space-based lasers have run aground. The Defense Department's Space Baser Laser Integrated Flight Experiment (SBL-IFX) called for launching an experimental laser into space to shoot down a ballistic missile in its boost phase of flight. But the program was scrapped several years ago after sustaining deep budget cuts in Congress, which deemed SBL-IFX too ambitious and expensive.


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