New Satellite Brings Back Star Wars

We visit local engineers who built a new space-based defense system.

By Scott Budman
|  Friday, May 6, 2011  |  Updated 9:14 AM PDT
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New Satellite Brings Back Star Wars

Getty Images

A satellite image of Earl.

 

Don't call it a comeback.

It's not exactly Star Wars, but there is a bit of what we talked about in the 80's when "Star Wars" meant space-based defense systems.  Now, thanks in large part to Lockheed Martin's Silicon Valley workforce, the most technologically advanced military infrared satellite ever developed is now soaring into space.

Called SBIRS, it will not shoot down missiles like the earlier "Star Wars" designs.  This satellite will, however, give our military early warning of missile launches around the globe, while supporting our nation's ballistic missile defense system.  According to Lockheed, SBIRS will also, once it gets planted into orbit, boost our ability to gather intelligence from up above.

The satellite will work non-stop to scan the earth's surface, keeping a watchful eye out for anything harmful.  After spending this last week celebrating our military's ability to track down targets, it's fitting that we take the next step in surveillance.  It's also fitting that it comes courtesy of Silicon Valley know-how.  Know-how that will be celebrated as close to 2,000 Lockheed employees gather to watch their handiwork take off.

Scott can be found on Twitter:  @scottbudman

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