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Old 02-14-2008, 12:04 PM   #1
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Default U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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/0....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.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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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.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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Originally Posted by GBMelBlount View Post
Hmmmmm.
Maybe sending a message "anything you can do we can do better"?

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...l?hpid=topnews

Last edited by Atlanta Dan; 02-14-2008 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Maybe sending a message "anything you can do we can do better"?

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...l?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.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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?
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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Originally Posted by OneForTheToe View Post
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





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.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post

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/technolog...ic-record.html

Quote:
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.
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.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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?
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: U.S. to shoot down errant satellite

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/orbitdi...d&alt=0&tz=CET
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