Caption: Artist's impression of an X-ray laser intercepting ballistic missiles in space. This is being studied as part of the US Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI, or 'Star Wars') programme. The space-based X-ray laser is powered by a nuclear explosion. This creates a massive pulse of X-ray laser energy which is directed at many targets simultaneously to disrupt their guidance electronics. This system is designed for use against missiles in the boost phase, before warhead deployment. The spherical objects are deployed decoys.
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