A new SCP inspired yesterday by the 50th anniversary of the Starfish Prime experiment, a high-altitude, megaton-yield nuclear test that taught the US (and the world) a harsh lesson about the harmful effects of electromagnetic pulses.
A couple of historical notes:
- In 1959 the US had begun to develop missiles intended to take out satellites, but they were inaccurate and pretty much useless unless nuclear-tipped anyways. It wasn't until 1985 that a successful take-down of an orbital target was performed by an anti-satellite missile with a conventional warhead.
- The Fishbowl series of high-altitude nuclear tests were all sub-megaton yield with the exception of Starfish Prime. After the damage it dealt (thousands of lights blown out in Hawaii, one-third of low Earth satellites destroyed), the US used far lower yields in subsequent tests.
- "The Starfish EMP waveform measured by Richard L. Wakefield of Los Alamos led to a revolution in understanding this nuclear effect."