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View Full Version : U.S. to shoot down errant satellite


Atlanta Dan
02-14-2008, 01:04 PM
The Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March, The Associated Press has learned.

U.S. officials said Thursday that the option preferred by the Bush administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth's atmosphere.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the options will not be publicly discussed until a later Pentagon briefing.

The disabled satellite is expected to hit the Earth the first week of March. Officials said the Navy would likely shoot it down before then, using a special missile modified for the task.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/02/14/spy.satellite.ap/index.html

So the Navy just needs to modify some existing missile to take out the satellite before it enters the atmosphere - pretty cool!

Every decade or so the U.S. gets to show off its cutting edge weapons in some regional conflict, but my guess is there are some extraordinary aspects to the U.S. military's toolkit that we cannot even imagine.

GBMelBlount
02-14-2008, 01:24 PM
But the decision involves several U.S. agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Defense and the State Department. Shooting down a satellite is particularly sensitive because of the controversy surrounding China's anti-satellite test last year, when Beijing shot down one of its defunct weather satellites, drawing immediate criticism from the U.S. and other countries

Hmmmmm.

Atlanta Dan
02-14-2008, 02:31 PM
Hmmmmm.

Maybe sending a message "anything you can do we can do better"?:smile:

Or maybe there is more to this (highly classified technology we are concerned might not burn up?)

Before today's announcement, many experts in the field said that the danger of anyone being harmed by the falling satellite were extremely small, since it will explode when it plows into the atmosphere. The fuel, they said, was likely to just make the explosion greater when the craft began its final descent.

Much larger spacecraft, including Skylab, have fallen to Earth without injuries to people on the ground.
Michael Crepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimpson Center, said today that the "stated rationale for this shoot-down is simply not credible. "

"There has to be another reason behind this," he said. "In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021401704.html?hpid=topnews

Preacher
02-14-2008, 02:47 PM
Maybe sending a message "anything you can do we can do better"?:smile:

Or maybe there is more to this (highly classified technology we are concerned might not burn up?)

Before today's announcement, many experts in the field said that the danger of anyone being harmed by the falling satellite were extremely small, since it will explode when it plows into the atmosphere. The fuel, they said, was likely to just make the explosion greater when the craft began its final descent.

Much larger spacecraft, including Skylab, have fallen to Earth without injuries to people on the ground.
Michael Crepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimpson Center, said today that the "stated rationale for this shoot-down is simply not credible. "

"There has to be another reason behind this," he said. "In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021401704.html?hpid=topnews



I have to think a little of that is the "watch this" mentality.

Hey, I have no problem with that. The "watch this" mentality has probably saved us from war a time or two.

OneForTheToe
02-14-2008, 03:10 PM
I agree with Preacher. I think we just want prove we can do it in face of the China, which has already done so. Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt that sent the fleet around the world just for show off US Naval power?

Preacher
02-14-2008, 03:24 PM
I agree with Preacher. I think we just want prove we can do it in face of the China, which has already done so. Wasn't it Teddy Roosevelt that sent the fleet around the world just for show off US Naval power?

Yep.

Oh yeah... Anyone remember that picture of the nile river, where it showed the mouth of the nile, and the deep ravines that it took, which is now covered by sand? It came out in the 80's. Actually, I think this is the pic

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/NileDelta-EO.JPG



The dirty little story behind the pic....

U.S. Military was actually telling the Soviet Union that we can count every missile they have that is hidden underground.

Thus, the Soviets had to invest more heavily in other types of weapons systems... spending more money and eventually, helpign to collapse their economy and government.

Yep, there is more then one way to win a war.... and showing off what our systems can do is one of those ways.

Borski
02-14-2008, 03:54 PM
I like the idea, pretty cool fireworks. Plus it should reduce the already small chance of someone getting injured by debris since the smaller pieces should burn up easier.

tony hipchest
02-15-2008, 02:49 PM
So the Navy just needs to modify some existing missile to take out the satellite before it enters the atmosphere - pretty cool!

Every decade or so the U.S. gets to show off its cutting edge weapons in some regional conflict, but my guess is there are some extraordinary aspects to the U.S. military's toolkit that we cannot even imagine.

have you seen this recent article, dan?

http://www.livescience.com/technology/080201-electromagnetic-record.html

The U.S. Navy yesterday test fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace conventional weaponry aboard ships. Sci-fi fans will recognize its awesome power and futuristic technology.
The big gun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.
The test-firing, captured on video, took place Jan. 31 in Dahlgren, Va., and Navy officials called it the "world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun."
The Navy's current MK 45 five-inch gun, by contrast, has a range of less than 23 miles (37 kilometers).
The railgun has been a featured weapon in many science fiction universes, such as the new "Battlestar Galactica" series. It has also achieved newfound popularity among the 20-something-and-under generation for its devastating ability to instantaneously shoot a "slug" through walls and through multiple enemies in video games such as the "Quake" series of first person shooters.
The Navy's motivation? Simple destruction. :jammin:
The railgun's high-velocity projectile will destroy targets with sheer kinetic energy rather than with conventional explosives.
"I never ever want to see a Sailor or Marine in a fair fight. I always want them to have the advantage," said Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead. "We should never lose sight of always looking for the next big thing, always looking to make our capability better, more effective than what anyone else can put on the battlefield."
The railgun's lack of explosives means ships would be safer, said Elizabeth D'Andrea, Electromagnetic Railgun Program Manager.
The Navy's goal is to demonstrate a full-capability prototype by 2018.

revefsreleets
02-15-2008, 06:41 PM
This is the same thing as saber rattling, really...

And Reagan's SSD stuff that everybody was so dead set against seems to look a little more viable now, doesn't it?

Borski
02-20-2008, 03:24 PM
If you want to see where it will be and possibly get a chance to see it before its shot down tonight check this link thats tracking it

http://www.heavens-above.com/orbitdisplay.asp?satid=29651&lat=27.68353&lng=-81.91406&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=CET

Dino 6 Rings
02-20-2008, 04:38 PM
I think its very cool that we are going to shoot it down...time to improve on our current capabilities. Too bad the couldn't shoot at that meteor that apparently scared everyone in the Pacific North West last night...or was it a meteor? maybe it was a "test fire"???hmmmm

83-Steelers-43
02-20-2008, 11:20 PM
Awesome stuff. I have no problem if this is just an example of the USA flexing it's muscles. If it makes crazy wackadoo's like the one in North Korea think and shake a little it's fine with me....

Navy Shoots Down Wayward Satellite
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WASHINGTON — A missile launched from a Navy ship successfully struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on Wednesday, a defense official said. Full details were not immediately available.

It happened just after 10:30 p.m. EST.

Two officials said the missile was launched successfully. One official, who is close to the process, said it hit the target. He said details on the results were not immediately known.

The goal in this first-of-its-kind mission for the Navy was not just to hit the satellite but to obliterate a tank aboard the spacecraft carrying 1,000 pounds of a toxic fuel called hydrazine.

U.S. officials have said the fuel would pose a potential health hazard to humans if it landed in a populated area. Although the odds of that were small even if the Pentagon had chosen not to try to shoot down the satellite, it was determined that it was worth trying to eliminate even that small chance.

Officials said it might take a day or longer to know for sure if the toxic fuel was blown up.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,331591,00.html

Preacher
02-21-2008, 02:32 AM
Hey...

Iran...

N. Korea...

How ya like me now?

:sofunny:

Dino 6 Rings
02-21-2008, 01:32 PM
No doubt, pretty much a little muscle flexing going on with that. Forget rattling the saber, just stand up, flex, give them the "evil eye" and say "Bring it!"

so happy we actually were able to hit the freaking thing. Would have been so embarressing if we'd have missed it.

Rhee Rhee
02-22-2008, 02:33 AM
i find it amazing that we now have the technology to lock onto a satellite and smack it with a missle...truly amazing stuff

SteelCityMan786
02-22-2008, 10:58 AM
Hey...

Iran...

N. Korea...

How ya like me now?

:sofunny:

HERE COMES THE BOOM! lol.