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Political Pressure, Hasty Testing Marred Star Wars Program

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An independent panel has submitted a negative critique of the Strategic Defense Initiative -- known as Star Wars -- in a far-ranging 76-page report titled "Reducing Risk in Ballistic Missile Defense Flight Programs."
The report said decisions by officials to accept abbreviated timetables and minimal numbers of flight tests of the antimissile systems raised the risk of failures and delays. The tone of the report sharply contrasts with the political support in Congress for the space-based antimissile program, especially among Republican representatives.
The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization is reviewing the panel's findings and already has planned some modifications to testing and evaluation methods.

Photonics Spectra
May 1998
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