Terra-3 is a
lasertesting centre, located on the Sary Shagan anti-ballistic missiletesting range in Karagandy Provinceof Kazakhstan. coord |45.848|N|73.518|E|
Development of laser weapons in the Soviet Union began in
1964- 1965. [cite web |url=http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/soviet/990600-bmd-rus.htm |publisher=Federation of American Scientists|author=A. Karpenko| title=ABM And Space Defense|work= Nevsky Bastion|date=1999|pages=pp. 2-47] Vympel OKB was amongst the first to be given work on these weapons. In the 1970s they built the Terra-3 complex for research purposes. It was meant as an ABM and ASAT weapon, but even the Astrofizikahigh energy red ruby and carbon dioxide lasers that were eventually installed proved to be insufficient for use against ballistic missiles. The first applications would have to be limited to anti-satellite, and then primarily to blind optical sensors. [cite web | url=http://www.astronautix.com/craft/terra3.htm | publisher=Encyclopedia Astronautica |title=Terra-3]
huttle "Challenger" illumination
It is alleged that on
10 October, 1984, Soviet Minister of Defence Dmitry Ustinovordered the Terra-3 complex to fire a warning shot at the shuttle "Challenger", in response to the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiativeplans announced a year earlier, and the continued military use of the shuttle. Even though the shuttle was illuminated with a low-power laser, it caused malfunctions to on-board equipment and discomfort (possibly even temporary blinding) of the crew. [cite web|url=http://www.astronautix.com/flights/sts41g.htm|title=SGS-41-G mission report|accessdate=2008-01-01|publisher=Encyclopedia Astronautica]
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