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The World

January 03, 1988

The Soviet Communist Party daily Pravda denied that the Sanglok observatory, under construction in the Central Asian republic of Tadzhikistan, will be equipped with lasers capable of destroying satellites. Space Media Network, a private company in Sweden, said in October that it had satellite photos showing an installation housing laser weapons, which could smash the electronics of most satellites. That capability would be significant because the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars," plans to use satellites. But Pravda said the observatory "is intended for optical observation of celestial bodies, including artificial Earth satellites. All the facility has is a one-meter telescope."

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