- ‘Gay Jeans’ that fade into rainbow-colored denim created
- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
Inside the Ring: Russian intel and Edward Snowden
No explanation was given for the cause of the engine shutdown.
However, in January 2012, the head of Roskosmos suggested that earlier failures of Russian rockets were the result of sabotage.
“I do not want to blame anyone, but today there are some very powerful countermeasures that can be used against spacecraft whose use we cannot exclude,” Roskosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin said of launch failures.
Tuesday’s launch failure came amid U.S.-Russian tensions over National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, currently in a Moscow airport transit lounge, who initially sought asylum in Russia but then asked 20 other nations for political refugee status.
Russia’s government announced Wednesday that a commission is being formed to find the cause of the launch failure. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin promised to fire space officials found responsible for the failure, the second in the past three years.
Mr. Rogozin also suggested foul play may be involved. “I can say only one thing, that very harsh conclusions will be made regarding this situation. And I would like to tell you that they will be related not only to the search of a guilty person or guilty parties, but they will relate to a much more complex issue,” he told reporters.
It is not known if a sophisticated cyberattack on Russia’s space launch control facility could produce a shutdown of a rocket’s engines.
However, Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, cited in a 2011 speech the example of the catastrophic destruction of a water-driven electrical generator at Russia’s Sayano-Shushenskaya dam, near the far eastern city of Cheremushki, in August 2009 to illustrate the kind of damage a cyberwar could bring.
Nine of the dam’s 10 hydro turbine generators exploded when a technician remotely started one of the generators that was being repaired. The result was an explosion that took out eight of the nine remaining generators.
Tuesday’s rocket failure resulted in the destruction of three Glonass satellites, worth an estimated $200 million, that were to be put in orbit as part of a Russia’s version of the Global Position System of satellites.
The satellites are considered a key feature of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces buildup, since Glonass provides targeting- and precision-guidance for missile warheads.
U.S. strategic nuclear weapons and the command systems that control them are vulnerable to cyberattacks, although most are hardened against many types of electronic attacks, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said Tuesday.
Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the outgoing commander of Strategic Command, testified in March before the Senate Armed Services Committee that nuclear weapons communications are less vulnerable to disruption by computer network attacks.
“We are very concerned with the potential of a cyber-related attack on our nuclear command and control and on the weapons systems themselves,” Gen. Kehler said.
TURKEY SEEKS CHINESE MISSILES
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
- Inside the Ring: U.S. power grid defenseless from attacks
- Inside the Ring: Hagel releases cyber warfare plans to China
- Inside the Ring: North Korea missile test coming
- Inside the Ring: U.S. fears Russia planning to federalize Ukraine, alarming Congress
- Inside the Ring: Pentagon goes hypersonic with long-range rapid attack weapon
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Kansas will nullify local regulation of guns
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Washington Redskins' 2014 schedule opens with Texans
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014