General sees threats to critical satellites

U.S. Air Force

A top Air Force general in an interview broadcast Sunday detailed the threat facing U.S. satellites in the struggle over control of outer space.

{mosads}Gen. John Hyten, who is in charge of the Air Force’s Space Command, revealed little can protect the satellites from direct attacks.

“It depends on the satellite, it depends on the mission, it depends on when it was built, it depends on how old it is,” Hyten said of the variables involved in keeping the satellites safe.

“It depends on when we know the threat is coming,” he added in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” with reporter David Martin.

Hyten said that America’s technological capabilities are under constant threat from damage to satellites. Combined with their cost, he charged the devices are some of the military’s most valuable.

“When you have 50,000 pounds of thrust, if anything goes wrong, it’s an explosion,” Hyten said.

“It’s dangerous,” he continued. “And you lose the capabilities, that’s on the top.”

U.S. satellites are essential, Hyten added, for securing its stake in the stars. He predicted that Earth’s orbit and beyond what the next frontier of combat.

“There is no such thing as a day without space,” Hyten said.

“Remotely piloted aircraft – all-weather guided munitions – didn’t exist before space,” the general added.

“Now we can attack any target on the planet, anytime, anywhere in any weather,” he said.

Hyten vowed his command was hard at work securing America’s satellites from threats old and new.

“It’s way too valuable for us to just be surprised,” he said of his mission.


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