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Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth
AP on Yahoo ^ | 1/26/08 | Eileen Sullivan - ap

Posted on 01/26/2008 5:30:14 PM PST by NormsRevenge

WASHINGTON - A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.

The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.

"Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, when asked about the situation after it was disclosed by other officials. "Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause."

He would not comment on whether it is possible for the satellite to be perhaps shot down by a missile. He said it would be inappropriate to discuss any specifics at this time.

A senior government official said that lawmakers and other nations are being kept apprised of the situation.

Such an uncontrolled re-entry could risk exposure of U.S. secrets, said John Pike, a defense and intelligence expert. Spy satellites typically are disposed of through a controlled re-entry into the ocean so that no one else can access the spacecraft, he said.

Pike also said it's not likely the threat from the satellite could be eliminated by shooting it down with a missile, because that would create debris that would then re-enter the atmosphere and burn up or hit the ground.

Pike, director of the defense research group GlobalSecurity.org, estimated that the spacecraft weighs about 20,000 pounds and is the size of a small bus. He said the satellite would create 10 times less debris than the Columbia space shuttle crash in 2003.

As for possible hazardous material in the spacecraft, Pike said it might contain beryllium, a light metal with a high melting point that is used in the defense and aerospace industries. Breathing beryllium can lead to chronic, incurable respiratory problems.

Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow with the National Security Archive, said the spacecraft likely is a photo reconnaissance satellite. Such eyes in the sky are used to gather visual information from space about adversarial governments and terror groups, including construction at suspected nuclear sites or militant training camps. The satellites also can be used to survey damage from hurricanes, fires and other natural disasters.

The largest uncontrolled re-entry by a NASA spacecraft was Skylab, the 78-ton abandoned space station that fell from orbit in 1979. Its debris dropped harmlessly into the Indian Ocean and across a remote section of western Australia.

In 2000, NASA engineers successfully directed a safe de-orbit of the 17-ton Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, using rockets aboard the satellite to bring it down in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.

In 2002, officials believe debris from a 7,000-pound science satellite smacked into the Earth's atmosphere and rained down over the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles from where they first predicted it would plummet.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: debris; disabled; doomage; earth; satellite; teotwawki; threatens; wearedoomed
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1 posted on 01/26/2008 5:30:16 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge
“Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth”

Yes, it threatens the entire Earth. Its very existence. Geez, do they even look at writing samples before they hire these “reporters”?

2 posted on 01/26/2008 5:33:40 PM PST by mthom
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To: NormsRevenge
spy satellite threatens Earth

LOL! Freaking idiots. - They get their education from watching cheesy liberal movies. - In fact that reads like a movie title

The Spy that Threatened Earth.

3 posted on 01/26/2008 5:34:00 PM PST by bill1952 (The right to buy weapons is the right to be free)
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To: NormsRevenge
Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth

That's some satellite!

4 posted on 01/26/2008 5:38:57 PM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: mthom
“Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth”

We're doomed!

5 posted on 01/26/2008 5:39:48 PM PST by rdl6989
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To: NormsRevenge

I really like the line

” The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. “

No $h!t sherlock , I wouldn’t want to identified as the one telling secrets either !!!!


6 posted on 01/26/2008 5:41:51 PM PST by blastdad51 (Proud father of an Enduring Freedom vet, and friend of a soldier lost in Afghanistan)
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To: NormsRevenge

I think they have it backwards. It’s Earth and its gravity and atmosphere that are a threat to the satellite, not the other way around.


7 posted on 01/26/2008 5:42:17 PM PST by jwparkerjr (Sigh . . .)
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To: rdl6989

it is probably Bush’s fault (because of all the global warming he caused)

;-)


8 posted on 01/26/2008 5:45:13 PM PST by John Galt's cousin (https://www.fred08.com/)
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To: NormsRevenge
I'd just like to see it plug George Soros right up the keister. LOL


9 posted on 01/26/2008 5:45:41 PM PST by Viking2002 (Waterboarding the Left every chance I get.)
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To: blastdad51

Call the Russians and ask them to destroy it.


10 posted on 01/26/2008 5:46:14 PM PST by nygoose
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To: jwparkerjr

Yes! The Earth must be stopped!


11 posted on 01/26/2008 5:48:24 PM PST by mthom
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To: NormsRevenge

Bush’s fault...


12 posted on 01/26/2008 5:48:53 PM PST by Huddled Masses ("There you go again...")
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To: NormsRevenge
and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down

The Krintong Mafia Headquarters, please, please Mr Satellite!

13 posted on 01/26/2008 5:48:59 PM PST by Revolting cat! (We all need someone we can bleed on...)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Chinese can shoot it down...


14 posted on 01/26/2008 5:50:47 PM PST by traumer
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To: NormsRevenge
'Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth'

With what, a friggin' ADA lawsuit? Must want a wheelchair ramp to crash-land...... ;-)


15 posted on 01/26/2008 5:52:51 PM PST by Viking2002 (Waterboarding the Left every chance I get.)
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To: NormsRevenge
As for possible hazardous material in the spacecraft, Pike said it might contain beryllium, a light metal with a high melting point that is used in the defense and aerospace industries. Breathing beryllium can lead to chronic, incurable respiratory problems.

So who's gonna try to snort satellite debris? Huey Chavez?

16 posted on 01/26/2008 5:53:49 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: mthom
Yes! The Earth must be stopped!

I want to get off.

17 posted on 01/26/2008 5:56:32 PM PST by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: Viking2002

Dang it!

There goes another keyboard!


18 posted on 01/26/2008 5:56:49 PM PST by Nik Naym (If Republicans are your problem, Democrats aren't the answer!)
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To: nygoose

Call the Russians?!!! Are you crazy?!! this is secret stuff we’re dealing with


19 posted on 01/26/2008 6:04:14 PM PST by blastdad51 (Proud father of an Enduring Freedom vet, and friend of a soldier lost in Afghanistan)
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To: rdl6989

Let me know when it’s time to deploy the Wile Coyote umbrellas.


20 posted on 01/26/2008 6:05:20 PM PST by Farmer Dean (168 grains of instant conflict resolution)
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To: Nik Naym
Oh, and to retort to your tagline - if Democrats are the answer, it must have been a stupid f*ckin' question to begin with. ;-)


21 posted on 01/26/2008 6:10:11 PM PST by Viking2002 (Waterboarding the Left every chance I get.)
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To: NormsRevenge

This looks like a job for Gamera or Godzilla.


22 posted on 01/26/2008 6:10:33 PM PST by Carl LaFong (Building Code Under Fire)
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To: NormsRevenge

One more chance for a free taco!


23 posted on 01/26/2008 6:12:11 PM PST by ThomasThomas ( /|\_/|\_/|\)
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To: Carl LaFong

I think it’s nuclear powered and probably be crashing in Iran......


24 posted on 01/26/2008 6:12:31 PM PST by kjam22 (see me play the guitar here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noHy7Cuoucc)
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To: Rummyfan

However, it would be protected by the ADA.
susie


25 posted on 01/26/2008 6:14:12 PM PST by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: ThomasThomas

Will they do it again?


26 posted on 01/26/2008 6:16:02 PM PST by ThomasThomas ( /|\_/|\_/|\)
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To: NormsRevenge
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

27 posted on 01/26/2008 6:26:36 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: mthom

““Disabled spy satellite threatens Earth””

But look at the bright side...if this spy satellite does destroy the Earth, Al Gore won’t have to worry anymore about ‘global warming’.”


28 posted on 01/26/2008 7:18:08 PM PST by Towed_Jumper (Stephen Hopkins: Founding Father who had Cerebral Palsy.."My hand trembles, my heart does not.")
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To: NormsRevenge

When Skylab was falling to earth around ‘82 or ‘83 I remember hearing that it passed overhead 16 times each day.


29 posted on 01/26/2008 7:28:34 PM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Photobucket
30 posted on 01/26/2008 7:31:27 PM PST by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: NormsRevenge
And we can only hope it lands in some rouge middle eastern country and there is allot of them to choose from.....

31 posted on 01/26/2008 7:32:47 PM PST by b4its2late (GITMO is way too nice of a place to house low life terrorists.)
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To: NormsRevenge

So, is this spy satellite physically or mentally disabled?


32 posted on 01/26/2008 7:38:39 PM PST by rabidralph
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To: killermosquito
Yeah, orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes will do that to you.

And Skylab fell in 1979. I had a Summer job, and a coworker also worked at a community center. He had his troop of kids wearing aluminum foil hats and spraying each other with "Lab-Off". Even made the paper with a photo of them dressing up his car as "Skylab".

33 posted on 01/26/2008 7:39:06 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: NormsRevenge

my question is “WHY?” did this sat lose all telemetry, and control?


34 posted on 01/26/2008 7:39:24 PM PST by Walkingfeather (u)
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To: NormsRevenge
As for possible hazardous material in the spacecraft, Pike said it might contain beryllium, a light metal with a high melting point that is used in the defense and aerospace industries. Breathing beryllium can lead to chronic, incurable respiratory problems.

And as it makes its thousands of miles long trajectory re-entering the earth's atmosphere, gradually burning up along the way, with the winds dispersing the smoke, just how much of a concentration of the beryllium that this spacecraft might contain, do they think any one person is likely to inhale?

Let me guess, this guy believes in the danger global warming poses too.

35 posted on 01/26/2008 7:43:54 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

ping


36 posted on 01/26/2008 7:46:00 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Key Hole?


37 posted on 01/26/2008 7:47:33 PM PST by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: NormsRevenge
...spy satellite threatens Earth

Sue the bastard!!

38 posted on 01/26/2008 7:48:52 PM PST by stboz
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To: Trajan88

more than likely,, I looked around a bit,, they are just saying spy satellite for now..


39 posted on 01/26/2008 8:08:26 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: NormsRevenge

She was walking all alone
Down the street in the alley
Her name was sally
She never saw it
When she was hit by space junk
In new york miami beach
Heavy metal fell in cuba
Angola saudi arabia
On xmas eve said norad
A soviet sputnik hit africa
India venezuela. In texas. Kansas.
It’s falling fast
Peru too
It keeps coming
And now i’m mad about space junk
I’m all burned out about space junk
Oooh walk & talk about space junk
It smashed my baby’s head
And now my sally’s dead


40 posted on 01/26/2008 8:21:19 PM PST by dersepp (I Am A Militia Of One)
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To: NormsRevenge

Shall I assume it goes over Florida?


41 posted on 01/26/2008 8:25:47 PM PST by GOPJ (Hillary Didn't Win A Single County In S.C.)
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To: Walkingfeather

Orbits degrade?


42 posted on 01/26/2008 8:27:52 PM PST by GOPJ (Hillary Didn't Win A Single County In S.C.)
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To: metmom

Plutonium ?


43 posted on 01/26/2008 8:30:17 PM PST by GOPJ (Hillary Didn't Win A Single County In S.C.)
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To: Revolting cat!

I would prefer that it crashes right on top of the Borg Cube in the middle of Mecca.


44 posted on 01/26/2008 8:31:24 PM PST by SALChamps03
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To: NormsRevenge

“He said the satellite would create 10 times less debris than the Columbia space shuttle crash in 2003”

One time less is zero. I think what he meant to say is “one tenth the debris”. As it is, it makes absolutely no sense. I suspect the journalist is the one who screwed that up.


45 posted on 01/26/2008 8:43:49 PM PST by freakboy
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To: stboz

“Sue the bastard!!”

+++++++++++++++

Yeah! Let’s get a restraining order!! That’ll stop it!


46 posted on 01/26/2008 9:15:34 PM PST by hotshu
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To: NormsRevenge
DOOMAGE!
47 posted on 01/26/2008 9:21:17 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (I resolve to remember to write "08" on my checks.)
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To: Trajan88

Maybe. Maybe Lacrosse?


48 posted on 01/26/2008 9:27:15 PM PST by null and void (Does "I don't remember" Hillary!™ have Alzheimer's? She needs to release her medical records now!)
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To: Walkingfeather

1) if this is true, why would you expect to get the answer to your question...its a secret

2) why do you presume because its in print that its true?

The second question applies to a whole range of issues in our daily lives today.


49 posted on 01/26/2008 9:35:00 PM PST by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior force is the ONLY cure)
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To: NormsRevenge

Same thing happened in the early 80’s with Skylab. I think it ended up crashing down in the ocean.


50 posted on 01/26/2008 9:37:43 PM PST by joebuck
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