CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Jun 01, 1977
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(Studio) President approves program to develop nuclear missile warhead capable of destroying USSR ballistic missiles before launching; administration denies it's to pressure USSR to come to Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) agreement. Sovs. are at work on killer satellite; Pentagon says test failed last month, but there have been successful ones.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) Satellites are 1 of most useful items in intelligence-gathering and defense; USSR 's efforts to build space bomb satellite to destroy others cited. (Animation shown.) Since Sovs.' success last year, Pentagon speeds up development of attack-resistant satellite. (Defense Department film shown.) Air Force reports some success. Question raised with regard to gap between United States and USSR in killer satellites. ["Aviation and Space Wkly." writer Philip KLASS - isn't concerned with regard to gap, but is with regard to USSR research, prompting him to wonder why they do it.] USSR also works on killer satellite using laser beam. Pentagon says United States also working on 1, but full development may be years away. There's fear USSR may develop satellite able to fire atomic particles. [Major General (ret.) George KEEGAN - describes how such weapons work.] Keegan says Sovs. may have weapon by mid-1980's, but notes problems, especially in electricity needed to power gun. [KEEGAN - notes intelligence info. indicating Sovs. may have mastered this problem.] Keegan says if USSR has developed knowledge, United States missile force deterrent may be neutralized. [KEEGAN - says United States has nothing with which to retaliate.] Secretary Defense Brown, CIA officials and many scientists don't take such grim view. [BROWN - doesn't believe there's such weapon in prospect in near future.]
REPORTER: Ike Pappas