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Satellite Shootdown Could Happen Wednesday Night

 
 
Reply Wed 20 Feb, 2008 04:27 am
Hello, all!! The Pentagon is planning to shoot down a satellite that may land on the ground and thereby release poisionous materials. If they miss the satellite there could be casualties. Here I will post some news updates on this exciting mission which is scheduled to take place early Thursday morning February 21, 2008.


By ROBERT BURNS


WASHINGTON (AP) - An attempt to blast a crippled U.S. spy satellite out of the sky using a Navy heat-seeking missile - possibly on Wednesday night - would be the first real-world use of this piece of the Pentagon's missile defense network. But that is not the mission for which it was intended.
The attempted shootdown, already approved by President Bush, is seen by some as blurring the lines between defending against a weapon like a long-range missile and targeting satellites in orbit.
The three-stage Navy missile, designated the SM-3, has chalked up a high rate of success in a series of tests since 2002 - in each case targeting a short- or medium-range ballistic missile, never a satellite. A hurry-up program to adapt the missile for this anti-satellite mission was completed in a matter of weeks; Navy officials say the changes will be reversed once this satellite is down. The government issued notices to aviators and mariners to remain clear of a section of the Pacific beginning at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, indicating the first window of opportunity to launch an SM-3 missile from a Navy cruiser, the USS Lake Erie, in an effort to hit the wayward satellite.

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US declares 1400-mile Pacific sat-shoot exclusion zone


Airspace bar from surface to 'unlimited' altitude

The US military has issued a warning notice barring flights above a large area of the northern Pacific for two and a half hours early on Thursday morning. The stricken spy satellite marked for destruction by US warships will pass over the taped-off area just at this time, indicating that the first shot will take place then.
The NOTAM (NOTice To AirMen) warning reads:
[INDENT]02/062 (A0038/08) - AIRSPACE CARF NR. 90 ON EVELYN STATIONARY RESERVATION WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 3145N 17012W 2824N 16642W 2352N 16317W 1909N 16129W 1241N 16129W 1239N 16532W 1842N 17057W 2031N 17230W 2703N 17206W SFC-UNL. 21 FEB 02:30 2008 UNTIL 21 FEB 05:00 2008. CREATED: 18 FEB 12:51 2008
[/INDENT]A "CARF" (Central Altitude Reservation Function) designation indicates a NOTAM intended to keep commercial and private flights clear of military operations, and SFC-UNL means the height band of this warning zone reaches from the surface to "unlimited" altitude - in other words all the way into space.

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Pythagorean
 
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Reply Thu 21 Feb, 2008 02:51 am
@Pythagorean,
Navy scores direct hit on spy satellite
By ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writers


HONOLULU - A U.S. Navy cruiser blasted a disabled spy satellite with a pinpoint missile strike that achieved the main mission of exploding a tank of toxic fuel 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean, defense officials said.

Destroying the satellite's onboard tank of about 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel was the primary goal, and a senior defense official close to the mission said Thursday that it appears the tank was destroyed, and the strike with a specially designed missile was a complete success.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the shootdown, which came late Wednesday as he began an eight-day, around-the-world trip on which he likely will face questions about the mission.

The elaborate intercept may trigger worries from some international leaders, who could see it as a thinly disguised attempt to test an anti-satellite weapon - one that could take out other nation's orbiting communications and spy spacecraft.
Within hours of the reported success, China said it was on the alert for possible harmful fallout from the shootdown and urged Washington to promptly release data on the action.

"China is continuously following closely the possible harm caused by the U.S. action to outer space security and relevant countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at news conference in Beijing. "China requests the U.S. to fulfill its international obligations in real earnest and provide to the international community necessary information and relevant data in a timely and prompt way so that relevant countries can take precautions."

While Pentagon officials stressed that the satellite strike was a one-time incident, it certainly will spin off massive amounts of data and research that can be studied by the military as it works to improve its missile defense technologies.
Officials had expressed cautious optimism that the missile would hit the bus-sized satellite, but they were less certain of hitting the smaller, more worrisome fuel tank.

Navy scores direct hit on spy satellite - Yahoo! News
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