Thursday, February 14, 2008

US to "Shoot Down" Rogue Satellite

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Shoot down is in quotes because it will essentially be hit and made into smaller fragments that will hopefully burn up in the atmosphere:

President Bush, acting on the advice of his national security advisers, has decided to attempt to shoot down a malfunctioning spy satellite that is expected to crash to the Earth by early next month.

National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the president made the decision recently and asked the military to come up with plans to destroy the satellite -- the first attempted shoot-down of its kind.

In an afternoon press conference, Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that a Navy missile will be fired at the satellite as it enters the atmosphere. He said that the missile "has a reasonably high opportunity for success," although the window for shooting down the spacecraft is quite small.
The important part of this operation is to destroy anything that may be secret such as hardware, etc. The Chinese had to count of Clinton administration members to get their intel on satellite design, now they have to hope one falls within their borders. Bush isn't taking that chance.

This is an important test as the Chinese were successful in shooting down one of their satellites several years ago and the Russians and others will be watching intently to see just how efective our missiles are. I recall thinking at the time that our whining about the Chinese actions was pretty silly considering we'd be in the same spot one day.

Update: There's a sweet irony in the Navy shooting down an Air Force satellite after what those sons of bitches did to my old ship:

Air Force bastards.

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