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By Clayton K. S. Chun

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Extra resources for Shooting Down a Star: America's Thor Program 437, Nuclear Asat, and Copycat Killers (Cadre Paper)

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Syria and Libya would be likely clients. If Iran is indeed capable of producing Scuds domestically, then this production capability would allow Iran to improve not only its technical skills and expertise but also its experiential base on which to base the design and manufacture of even more advanced ballistic missiles. Iran Moves Closer to Nuclear Power Iran initiated its nuclear electrical power generation programs with assistance from the West during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Several early test launches failed. However, the feasi24 CHUN bility of Program 437AP was proven, even though the film capsule was not recovered successfully, when, on 7 December 1965, a Thor-launched satellite photographed an expended Agena rocket body. 18 minutes to intercept the target. A subsequent launch on 18 January 1966 was an unqualified success. The Thor booster put the photographic payload within range of another Agena rocket body. This time the AFSC-crewed C-130 recovered the film capsule.

The Air Staff timetable for terminating Program 437 was not fast enough for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 83 On 14 May 1970 Seamans notified Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird that ADC would deactivate Johnston Island as of 2 October 1970. The launch reaction time to conduct an ASAT mission was relaxed to a 30day period following a removal of all personnel from the launch site except for a caretaker staff. The final nail in Program 437’s coffin came on 19 August 1972 when Hurricane Celeste passed within 21 miles of John30 CHUN ston Island.

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