Terra-3 is a laser testing centre, located on the Sary Shagan anti-ballistic missile testing range in Karagandy Province of 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 Astrofizika high 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 Ustinov ordered the Terra-3 complex to fire a warning shot at the shuttle "Challenger", in response to the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative plans 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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