Why I Walked Away From Star Wars--And A Good Job

Opinion Why I Walked Away From Star Wars--And A Good Job AUTHOR: RICHARD RUQUIST Date: May 16, 1988 Years before the term Strategic Defense Initiative had been coined, no one was more enthusiastic about a defensive missile shield than Richard Ruquist. The questions seemed purely technical back then, and Ruquist was an engineering bloodhound on a hot trail. But after scores of analyses, the scientist concluded that it was a terrible mistake—that a defensive system in space would be vulne

Richard Ruquist
May 15, 1988

Opinion

Why I Walked Away From Star Wars--And A Good Job
AUTHOR: RICHARD RUQUIST
Date: May 16, 1988
Years before the term Strategic Defense Initiative had been coined, no one was more enthusiastic about a defensive missile shield than Richard Ruquist. The questions seemed purely technical back then, and Ruquist was an engineering bloodhound on a hot trail. But after scores of analyses, the scientist concluded that it was a terrible mistake—that a defensive system in space would be vulnerable and destabilizing. He took the unprecedented step of leaving the defense community to become a Star Wars critic. We asked him to tell his story:

On February 28, 1987, I resigned from-a major Strategic Defense Initiative contractor in-order to be free to publicly criticize SDI. It was a decision which has profoundly affected me, my family, and my career. I believe it was also an unusual decision; while I am...

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