America's Space Sentinels: DSP Satellites and National Security

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Overview

During much of the Cold War, America's first line of defense was in outer space: a network of secret satellites that could provide instant warning of an enemy missile launch. The presence of these infrared sensors orbiting 22,000 miles above the earth discouraged a Soviet first strike and stabilized international relations between the superpowers, and they now play a crucial role in monitoring the missile programs of China, India, and other emerging nuclear powers. Jeffrey Richelson has written the first comprehensive history of this vital program, tracing its evolution from the late 1950s to the present. He puts Defense Support Program operations in the context of world events - from Russian missile programs to the Gulf War - and explains how DSP's infrared sensors are used to detect meteorites, monitor forest fires, and even gather industrial intelligence by "seeing" the lights of steel mills.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Richelson's outstanding study merits a wide readership and is highly recommended. All levels.
Intelligencer
Highly recommended.
Journal of American History
From the beginning with the MIDAS program to the present-day DSP system, Richelson provides a wealth of new information.
Booknews
An account of a little-known program that has served America's defense needs and continues to keep a watch on the world. Traces the evolution of a secret satellite program from the 1950s to the present, putting the program's operations in the context of world events. Explains how these satellites detect meteorites, monitor forest fires, and gather industrial intelligence, and shows how the satellites now play a crucial role in monitoring missile programs of China, India, and other emerging nuclear powers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700609420
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1 Bad News Travels Fast 1
2 MIDAS 11
3 Vindication 33
4 Nurrungar and Buckley 49
5 DSP's First Decade 63
6 Surviving World War III 85
7 Slow Walkers, Fast Walkers, and Joggers 95
8 Evolutionary Developments and Suicidal Lasers 123
9 Australia, Germany, and New Mexico 137
10 Desert Storm 157
11 False Starts 177
12 The Unwanted Option 189
13 High Now, Low Later 211
14 Future Missions 223
App. A Space-Based Infrared Detection of Missiles 237
App. B Chronology 243
App. C Satellite Launch Listing 250
Notes 251
Bibliographic Essay 305
Index 309
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2000

    The New Era of Intelligence

    This book details on how Intelligence Organizations operate High Tech. It is a must read for people who want to know how the government operates Intelligence. Richard T. Richelson tells what the new dangers are from drug trafficking to terrorism.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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