Today, it’s Tesla Roadsters; tomorrow, space lasers? SpaceX’s president and CEO says the firm would consider launching weapons into orbit for the U.S. government, if asked. “If it’s for the defense of this country, yes, I think we would,” Gwynne Shotwell said, in response to a question about SpaceX’s willingness to launch “offensive weapons” into space for the United States.
She made her remarks at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. The crowd broke into applause.
The Defense Department is looking hard at new technologies, some just in their infancy, that could help spot missiles from Russia, China, and North Korea. It is also exploring the idea of orbiting directed-energy weapons, such as neutral-particle beam ray guns or space lasers, to shoot down incoming missiles.
By 2023, defense undersecretary for research and engineering Michael Griffin wants a space-based sensor layer to counter Russian and Chinese hypersonic missiles.