Skip to comments.US: Broken satellite will be shot down
Posted on 02/14/2008 12:09:48 PM PST by mojito
WASHINGTON - President Bush decided to fire a military missile to bring down a broken spy satellite because of the potential danger to people from rocket fuel it is carrying, officials said Thursday.
Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffries, briefing reporters at the Pentagon, did not say when the attempted intercept would be conducted, but the satellite is expected to hit Earth during the first week of March.
Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the same briefing that the "window of opportunity" for such a shootdown, presumably to be launched from a Navy ship, will open in the next three or four days and last for seven or eight days. He did not say whether the Pentagon has decided on an exact launch date.
He said a Navy missile known as Standard Missile 3 would be fired in an attempt to intercept the satellite just prior to it re-entering Earth's atmosphere. It would be "next to impossible" to hit the satellite after that because of atmospheric disturbances, Cartwright said.
A second goal, he said, is to directly hit the fuel tank in order to minimize the amount of fuel that returns to Earth.
Cartwright also said that if an initial shootdown attempt fails, a decision will be made whether to take a second shot.
Are you watching China? All your satellites are belong to us.
B.S. It is a loud and clear message to China, in reply to their anti-satellite program.
wouldn’t all the fuel burn up on re-entry. That would make a nice view coming back down to earth.
Hopefully they can hit it in fewer shots than threads.
Hmmm. I didn’t think the SM3 had the range/intercept/blah blah.
I hope they don’t frikkin miss.
A missile!? Why is THAT necessary? Doesn't anyone understand, as Senators Feinstein and Schumer do, that a single .50 BMG round is more than enough for this task? Sheesh!
As a guess, the satellite is more likely to be totally destroyed by the re-entry if is comes down in small pieces. The interception will make the destruction of highly classified technology much more likely. It will be decades before we find out just exactly what that satellite had on board that the Pentagon didn’t want anyone else to find out about. Something they didn’t want Russia of China to reverse engineer in the next few years, that is for sure.
Doesn’t matter. As soon as Hillery or Obama make it to the White House, they’ll sell the technology, cancel the program, and use the funds to pay incoming illegals. (This is not a particularly gross exaggeration.....)
That, too ... but I think the primary concern is to ensure that payload chunks don't land intact within the borders of Russia or China.
How do you “shoot down” something that is in orbit. The best you can do is smash it into a bazillion pieces. Newton made these things quite clear.
It seems that, if done right, a successful intercept could ensure it lands in the ocean rather than on enemy soil.
If this works (and it probably will), it means that the Standard-3 is essentially an operational ASAT.
Your post reminded me of something I recently saw up here on FR. In case you missed it, take a look to see the “nice” debris field China created with one of their ASAT tests. Makes me wonder how stuff still survives up there without turning into swiss cheese.
These "small pieces" will establish their own orbits, creating a nightmare for other orbiting bodies (like commercial communitication satellites.)
What will be the altitude of intercept?
Stupidest idea ever. Let’s just create the largest debris hazard we can for our astros in LEO, and then confine us to this planet.
Man, whoever decided to put politicians in charge of anything more complicated than a matchstick needs to be tarred and feathered...at the very least.
I recall we said the Standard could/would not be used in this way?
I guess they are reviewing the info now.
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