(CLICK ABOVE FOR ENLARGEMENT – – laser beam shooting off into the air)
(CLICK ABOVE FOR ENLARGEMENT – – photo taken by Norio Hayakawa on September, 20, 2013 from inside the base, near Coyote Canyon)
Facility of utmost importance.
The present-day STARFIRE OPTICAL RANGE adjacent to the Manzano/Sandia Base area inside Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been part of the Directed Energy Directorate of Air Force Research Laboratory, an ongoing research project involving ground-based lasers to disable satellites, i.e., anti-satellite weapons systems.
The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, which runs PROJECT STARFIRE, said the observatory’s large telescope, by using adaptive optics, could distinguish objects in orbit the size of a basketball at a distance of 1,000 miles, or 1600 kilometers.
The STARFIRE researchers are now investigating how to use guide stars and flexible mirrors in conjunction with powerful lasers that could flash their beams into space to knock out enemy satellites.
Gen. John Hyten of the Air Force Space Command stated:
“No one wants a war in space, but it’s the job of a branch of the Air Force called Space Command to prepare for one. If you’ve never heard of Space Command, it’s because most of what it does happens hundreds even thousands of miles above the Earth or deep inside highly secure command centers. You may be as surprised as we were to find out how the high-stakes game for control of space is played.
The research being done at the Starfire Optical Range in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was kept secret for many years and for a good reason which only becomes apparent at night.
First, the roof of one building is opened to the stars then the walls retract and an object straight out of Star Wars appears shooting a laser into the sky. The laser’s beam helps a high-powered telescope focus in on objects in space, so the Air Force can get a better look at the satellites of potential adversaries like China whizzing by at 17,000 miles per hour. It’s part of a complex — and mostly secret — battle for what the military considers the ultimate high ground.”
The Air Force budget documents call the telescope a “weapons-class beam director”.
The best panoramic view of this entire complex is from Mesa Del Sol, right near Netflix movie studios:
(CLICK ABOVE FOR ENLARGEMENT – – long distance shot taken by Norio Hayakawa from Mesa del Sol)
(CLICK ABOVE FOR ENLARGEMENT – – another long distance shot taken by Norio Hayakawa from Mesa del Sol)
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