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"[Science fiction is] nightmares and visions, always outlined by the barely possible."
- Gregory Benford

Guided Missile Control Station  
  An orbital missile base.  

This is an early description of what today is called an orbital weapons platform.

Circum-Terra was a great confused mass in the sky. It had been built, rebuilt, added to, and modified over the course of years for a dozen different purposes - weather observation station, astronomical observatory, meteor count station, television relay, guided missile control station, high-vacuum strain-free physics laboratory, strain-free germ-free biological experiment station, and many other uses...

"Don't you realize that the war is already over? Man, this place isn't just a traffic depot; it's the main guided-missile control station. They can bomb every last city on Earth from here, like ducks in a pond!"

From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
Additional resources -

See the discussion of the space platform from E.B. White's excellent 1950 short story The Morning of the Day for an earlier example.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Between Planets
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Between Planets
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

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