Russia's New Hypersonic Nuclear Weapon
by Staff Writers for Launchspace
Bethesda MD (SPX) Mar 15, 2019
In December 2018, Russia tested a new hypersonic weapon designed to sneak under current U.S. ballistic missile defenses. The Avangard, a winged glider weapon boosted high into the atmosphere by a ballistic missile, descends on its target at speeds in excess of 6.7 km/sec.
This is 15,000 MPH, almost the speed of an orbiting satellite. According to Russian news sources, Avangard will enter Russian service this year. Check YouTube for footage of the test launch.
Russian President Putin announced this and other new nuclear weapons programs last year. This weapon included the "Poseidon" Nuclear Apocalypse Torpedo and the Burevestnik Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile.
A rocket boosts Avangard gliders very high into the atmosphere, but unlike regular ICBM warheads, Avangard doesn't go all the way out of the atmosphere. Instead, at a preset altitude, the booster fairing is released. Then Avangard is released and it proceeds as a glider to its target at hypersonic speeds of up to Mach 20. During its recent test the Avangard traveled more than 6,000 km.
Russia is apparently creating a host of new nuclear weapons to get around ballistic missile defenses. For example, "Poseidon" would travel into U.S. territory underwater in order to deliver a thermonuclear strike.
The Buresvestnik missile would have the duration and range to fly for days or longer, able to fly around entire continents to slip into U.S. airspace. Avangard is particularly important because it is extremely fast and travels below the usual engagement envelopes current defenses.
In response, President Trump has just announced a new space-based missile defense system that uses a constellation of special sensor satellites to track and target new Russia weapons for interception and destruction.
China developing key technologies on heavy-lift rocket
Xichang (XNA) Mar 12, 2019
China has made significant progress in the development of the key technologies of the heavy-lift carrier rocket, the Long March-9, which is expected to make its maiden flight around 2030. The development of the heavy-lift rocket will greatly improve China's capacity of entering outer space. The Long March-9 rocket will support China's space industry development, utilization of space resources and deep space exploration, said experts from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. The ro ... read more
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