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Pentagon Opens Window of Time to Shoot Down Satellite
American Forces Press Service ^ | Gerry J. Gilmore

Posted on 02/20/2008 3:58:23 PM PST by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2008 – The Pentagon has opened the window of time in which it will shoot down a malfunctioning U.S. reconnaissance satellite, a senior U.S. military officer said here today.

Today’s return of the space shuttle Atlantis to Earth prompted the start of the optimal time period for shooting down the satellite, which extends until about the end of the month, the senior officer told Pentagon reporters.

Only “tens of seconds” will be available each day for a favorable launch of a ship-based SM-3 interceptor missile, the senior officer said. “The window is small, … but we’re looking for the best orientation of the satellite” before launching the missile, the officer explained.

The 5,000-pound satellite malfunctioned soon after it was launched in 2006, making it unresponsive to ground control. It is carrying a tank full of hydrazine, a toxic rocket fuel. The satellite, orbiting every 90 minutes or so, was expected to fall to Earth in February or March with its tank of hydrazine intact, possibly endangering human populations.

President Bush directed the Defense Department to engage the satellite just before it enters the atmosphere at about 150 miles above the Earth. The goal is for the missile to hit and rupture the tank of rocket fuel, causing the hydrazine to burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere, along with debris from the stricken satellite.

About 50 percent of debris produced by the missile strike is expected to burn up during the stricken satellite’s first two orbits after being hit, the senior military officer said, with the rest burning up shortly after. The strike is designed to leave no space debris.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is to give the order to launch, based upon commanders’ recommendations, the senior officer said. Gates will be advised as to the optimal time to launch by the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, based at Offutt Air Force Base, in Omaha, Neb.

All space sensor and missile-tracking activity related to the missile launch is being coordinated by the Joint Space Operations Center, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Sensors, such as large radars and telescopes, are being coordinated by the Joint Integrated Missile Defense Team in Colorado Springs, Colo., under the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command.

Three U.S. Navy ships -- the cruiser USS Lake Erie and the destroyers USS Decatur and USS Russell -- are posted in the Pacific Ocean waiting for an optimal time to launch, the senior officer said. The Erie is slated to shoot at the satellite, and it is fitted with two SM-3 missiles. The Decatur has one, and the Russell has none. The missiles were modified to carry additional sensor equipment for the mission, the senior officer said.

The launch will be conducted during daytime over the Pacific, the senior officer explained, so that all sensors involved can better track the results of the missile launch. Necessary criteria for launch include satisfactory alignment of all pre-launch sensor-supplied data, as well as favorable weather conditions, he said.

Currently, the wave height about the ships is unfavorable to launch, the officer said. However, this and other conditions are subject to change, he added.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; US: Colorado; US: Nebraska
KEYWORDS: dod; down; missiledefense; offuttafb; satellite; shoot; shootdown; usaf; usn; ussdecatur; usslakeerie; ussrussell; vandenbergafb
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To: eyedigress

Maybe the next orbit.


51 posted on 02/20/2008 5:32:37 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Checkmate Cruiser")
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To: Robe
"Current pass will take it to the east of the Restricted Zone.pass after that brings it over the NW of Hawaii.. Smack dab in the ZONE !!!!"

You can just bet the other spy satellites will have a great view of this event. Unfortunately , we'll never get to see them. Sigh...

52 posted on 02/20/2008 5:34:31 PM PST by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: neodad

bookmark ...


53 posted on 02/20/2008 5:34:46 PM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SandRat
Which one?? I hope not....
54 posted on 02/20/2008 5:36:19 PM PST by traumer
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To: eyedigress

Why can’t we do it over the middle east and use it as a PSYOPS on some goat herders? /h


55 posted on 02/20/2008 5:38:12 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (Hillary Clinton - It's OBAMAS Party and She'll Cry if She Wants to?)
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To: Robe; neodad

I sure hope they nail it on the first try. That would be Sweet. About 90 minutes until go time?


56 posted on 02/20/2008 5:39:04 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: traumer

NO! Not that window! lol.


57 posted on 02/20/2008 5:39:26 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: neodad

My guess via STSPLUS will put it in the ZONE at about 10:30 EST..
BTW.....it’ll be at it’s lowest point in it’s orbit..’bout 150-155 sm


58 posted on 02/20/2008 5:40:41 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: eyedigress

Let us know if you get info.


59 posted on 02/20/2008 5:42:07 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: IllumiNaughtyByNature

Might be some good PSYOPS on the whole lot of em’. Let’s see what we can show the Reds first.


60 posted on 02/20/2008 5:42:19 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: Westlander; Robe

It’s in the SP nearing Hawaii, one more orbit and that should do it.


61 posted on 02/20/2008 5:47:28 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: All
BTW.. STSPLUS is tracking software that was used on the ISS just a few years ago..

It can be downloaded here:

STSPLUS

and the Orbital Elements Here

The Author has passed and the software will not be updated..
but it's prob the BEST out there.. You can track ANY satellite that NORAD will publish...
great for Shuttle and ISS pass predictions

62 posted on 02/20/2008 5:48:55 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: eyedigress
I sure hope they nail it on the first try. That would be Sweet.

In some ways it be would be better if it takes three. More opportunity for data acquisition. They might also experiment with slightly different launch and intercept parameters (until the IR seeker takes over -- might even be able to fine tune the programming in that).

63 posted on 02/20/2008 5:50:33 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture™)
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To: steve86

While that makes logical sense, the chance to see Putin’s face on the first try would be priceless.


64 posted on 02/20/2008 5:55:58 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: All

TIME HACK: T - 90 min


65 posted on 02/20/2008 5:57:41 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Desron13

I was thinking that some video will be released. Probably more valuable to show our cards this time.


66 posted on 02/20/2008 6:00:47 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Checkmate Cruiser")
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To: Robe

Air warning yellow, weapons tight.


67 posted on 02/20/2008 6:01:39 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Checkmate Cruiser")
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To: Robe

Thanks. They nailed the time 10:27 EST


68 posted on 02/20/2008 6:02:15 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: Robe; All
Thanks for the info. I subscribed to Space Track last night and it doesn't have a thing on the sat. Here is the latest pic from Heavensabove:
69 posted on 02/20/2008 6:06:15 PM PST by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: Westlander

Just at PNW set to go over Canada the next 20 min.


70 posted on 02/20/2008 6:07:12 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: penelopesire

That hot link is moving. Good post.


71 posted on 02/20/2008 6:11:47 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: neodad
"I was thinking that some video will be released. Probably more valuable to show our cards this time."

Your probably right but it most likely wont be the good stuff. Probably some fuzzy, jumpy, out of focus slop that just shows a quick streak followed by a big flash.

72 posted on 02/20/2008 6:13:10 PM PST by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: eyedigress

Africa now.


73 posted on 02/20/2008 6:28:58 PM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: eyedigress

Wow..I didn’t realize that when I was posting the link! I am so technologically impaired....lol


74 posted on 02/20/2008 6:29:31 PM PST by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: penelopesire
Man I like a CAT on a TIN roof......we have crystal clear skies here in Rock Hill, SC.. the Eclipse is MAGNIFICANT !!!!..then I run in here and keep up with the Shoot down!!!!
Man what a celestrial happening
75 posted on 02/20/2008 6:40:58 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Robe
ECLIPSE >> NOW


76 posted on 02/20/2008 6:44:30 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Robe

lol..me too and I usually don’t get into space stuff that much. I just love our military and am praying for a successful mission. The Ruskies will be pea green with envy if we shoot it out of space!! (grin)


77 posted on 02/20/2008 6:48:53 PM PST by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
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To: La Enchiladita

You keeping up with this?


78 posted on 02/20/2008 6:55:22 PM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: eyedigress

>> They nailed the time 10:27 EST

Is this still a go?


79 posted on 02/20/2008 7:02:39 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: All

T- MINUS 25 min


80 posted on 02/20/2008 7:02:43 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: penelopesire
"lol..me too and I usually don’t get into space stuff that much. I just love our military and am praying for a successful mission. The Ruskies will be pea green with envy if we shoot it out of space!! (grin)"

After reading up on this technology, (see my earlier post on the missile technology) I suspect that we are much much further along then we're letting on. If we can launch these pop up vehicles from war ships, we probably have the capability of putting them into guardian orbits, at least for short term (a couple of days) missions.

81 posted on 02/20/2008 7:04:09 PM PST by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: Robe

This should get listed under “breaking news”


82 posted on 02/20/2008 7:04:11 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: Robe

NW Hawaii sea Weather bouy still reports 2.6’ seas,5.7 intervals & 3/10 cloud cover


83 posted on 02/20/2008 7:04:21 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Robe

Is there some official Nasa or DOD website where we can get up-to-the-minute info on this? How will we know if it happens and/or the results?


84 posted on 02/20/2008 7:05:22 PM PST by waimea.man
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To: Robe

Just SW of Sydney and down to 160sm and lowering


85 posted on 02/20/2008 7:06:32 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Gene Eric; Admin Moderator

Agreed- can this be in Breaking?


86 posted on 02/20/2008 7:06:40 PM PST by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Robe

Starting northbound leg now. Air warning red, weapons free.


87 posted on 02/20/2008 7:07:01 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Checkmate Cruiser")
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To: waimea.man

I’m monitoring NASA TV, but no indication they will cover it live


88 posted on 02/20/2008 7:07:05 PM PST by Brian S. Fitzgerald ("We're going to drag that ship over the mountain.")
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To: Robe

Thanks


89 posted on 02/20/2008 7:08:34 PM PST by cmsgop ( You go to da box..... you feel shame)
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To: cmsgop

Just east of New Caledonia.. and haulin a$$


90 posted on 02/20/2008 7:16:23 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
The plan is to have it reduced to small enough pieces that will burn up upon de-orbit.

As you said it's "the plan". Hope they also have contingency plans B, C, and D.

91 posted on 02/20/2008 7:16:36 PM PST by mtbopfuyn (The fence is "absolutely not the answer" - Gov. Rick Perry (R, TX))
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To: neodad

Operation “Burnt Frost” about to commence.


92 posted on 02/20/2008 7:16:48 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: neodad

Radar Lock.. cooling sensors..


93 posted on 02/20/2008 7:17:21 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Robe

Any update?


94 posted on 02/20/2008 7:17:34 PM PST by Gene Eric
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To: cmsgop; y'all

FYI— CNN just said they are “waiting for news in the possible Navy shoot down,” and will bring any news of it first. Probably true because Greta is doing her thing and can’t be bothered with anything that deviates from her script.

NASA not covering.


95 posted on 02/20/2008 7:18:44 PM PST by Dysart
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To: Gene Eric

T-minus 7mins.. down to 155 sm


96 posted on 02/20/2008 7:19:11 PM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: Robe

I really wish we could see this.


97 posted on 02/20/2008 7:19:15 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG 49) "Checkmate Cruiser")
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To: eyedigress

I’m waiting for the report on Pacific Radio - “Clean-up on isle 23, 24, 25, . . . 2186, 2187, . . .”, etc,etc,etc.


98 posted on 02/20/2008 7:20:13 PM PST by Jambe
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To: All

ping


99 posted on 02/20/2008 7:20:17 PM PST by Brian S. Fitzgerald ("We're going to drag that ship over the mountain.")
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To: All

ping


100 posted on 02/20/2008 7:20:31 PM PST by Brian S. Fitzgerald ("We're going to drag that ship over the mountain.")
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