U.S. missile hits spy satellite [Probably]

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. dong20

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    I read about the proposed test a little while back, well at least something was blown up.

    "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A missile from a U.S. Navy warship hit a defunct U.S. spy satellite 133 nautical miles (247 km) above the Earth in an attempt to blow apart its tank of toxic fuel, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

    It was too soon to tell if the fuel tank had been shattered in the operation over the Pacific Ocean, the Pentagon said in a statement, but a senior military source said initial indications suggested that goal had been achieved."

    Blah Blah Blah.....empty political rhetoric...

    "But Pentagon officials have denied suggestions they wanted to destroy the satellite to prevent part of the classified spacecraft from falling into the hands of rival powers."

    Blah Blah Blah.....more empty political rhetoric...but getting warmer.

    "Some space experts have questioned the Pentagon's justification for the mission, saying the chances of any part of the satellite causing harm were extremely remote.

    ...
    They also reject accusations from some security and space experts that the Pentagon was using the satellite problem as an excuse to test and demonstrate its ability to hit targets in space following an anti-satellite test by China last year."

    Hah, perhaps somebody is awake after all.

    U.S. missile hits spy satellite - Yahoo! News UK
     
  2. DC_DEEP

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    So, the concept was to take a known quantity of highly-toxic hydrazine, in a known, localized area, and explode it so that it becomes a known quantity of highly-toxic hydrazine spread into a droplet mist over a much larger area.

    Brilliant, those rocket scientists!
     
  3. alex8.5

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    How typical, We fuck up the planet, now we fuck up space. It was just matter of time. Thank you again Mr. Asshole Bush...
     
  4. Drifterwood

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  5. dong20

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    I read that article (or one like it) when I first read about the US proposed firing a little while back. I thought about a thread then but wanted to wait and seen if it worked.

    I read another article where the US stated that their proposed shoot down was 'different', because they publicised it in advance? Oh, that and the fact it was a humanitarian weapons test, sorry it was a humanitarian, selfless act to protect humanity. Sorry, was my cynicism showing there?

    I expect this event also caused the satellite to fragment. A key difference being the orbital path.

    This is the section I liked best in the earlier article:

    "Under a space policy authorized by President Bush in August, the United States asserts a right to "freedom of action in space" and says it will "deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so."
    The policy includes the right to "deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

    I smell sour grapes.
     
  6. Drifterwood

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    Well last year the Chinese demonstrated that they could knock out satellites much higher than the one the US should have hit last night. The point is that China has the capability to knock out military comms, which I understand predominantly use satellite for security, and therefore could severely disrupt US military activity if they had a mind to.
     
  7. dong20

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    Exactly, the Chinese satellite was at about 540 miles, the US one about 150. The same caveat would work both ways of course. You think the Chinese don't have a similar policy and similar paranoia, sorry, concerns?

    The scenario of satellite comms being targeted from the ground at will is something that should worry us all. The human species is such a short sighted and petty one at times. It's hard to see how we've survived even this long. Our obsession with finding better and better ways to destroy stuff is only balanced (barely) by our obsession with devising better ways to protect and repair them. Or perhaps that's how we've survived.

    It would be easier, cheaper and safer for everyone not to build such weapons at all, but that requires that everyone plays by, and adheres to, the same rules. Us being human, what are the odds of that?
     
  8. Quite Irate

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    That has nothing to do with Bush. Spy decisions are far too important for him to make. And we've been sending shit out into space for a long time now, so it's nothing new. There are many tons of materials floating around up there.

    This most likely isn't any sort of missile conspiracy. I really hate it that the government is completely unable to tell the truth, ever. They themselves make it a bigger problem by coming up with a bullshit reason to shoot the thing down. Nobody would mind if they just said, "We don't want another country getting our spy shit." They want to destroy the information and technology rather than risk letting it fall into the hands of a competing country.
     
  9. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

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    I believe that obsession is called - survival of the fittest.
     
  10. dong20

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    I think you're confusing that with another theory, one not limited to Humans.:smile:

    There's nothing wrong with innovation, it's just a shame so much of it turns out to be destructive. Still, many good things have come out of weapons research, though many are aimed primarily at negating their effects, which seems ironic, really.
     
  11. hot-rod

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    I think what people saw fall from the sky a night or two ago was the satelite and not a meteor. We will soon find out for sure when people start getting sick and dying. Don't believe anything this government tells us. NADA!
     
  12. dong20

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  13. dong20

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    The SM-3 missile was fired from the USS Lake Erie in the Pacific at about 10:26 p.m. EST (3:26 a.m. British time Thursday), the Pentagon said in a statement.

    Meteor Seen Across Pacific Northwest - News Story - KIRO Seattle

    The meteor was reported on the 19th, the missile was fired on the 20th. Of course the military could be lying, it's not unprecedented.:smile:
     
  14. Pecker

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    Not all of the stuff we send into orbit returns to the atmosphere to burn up.

    How long will it be before depictions of our solar system show the planet Earth with a miles-wide ring of man-made debris?
     
  15. dong20

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    Yes indeed, there's plenty of it:

    October 2000 - 8,927 Monitored (110,000 total)
    SPACE.com -- Space Junk

    January 2006 - Over 9,000 (same source as above)
    SPACE.com -- Space Debris a Growing Problem, NASA Report Says

    September 2006 9,925 Monitored 100,000 total
    Lost in Space? Lots of Junk

    The culprits, as of June 2000 were:
    SPACE.com -- Space Junk: The full list

    Links Googled at random, I'm not vouching for them.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Drifterwood

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    Good point.

    I think that there is a lot of anti-china propaganda coming from the Bush Adninistration and a lot of it is just plain lies. Why would they be doing this? Wouldn't it make you a little paranoid?

    Since the reforms, the growth of China shouldn't surprise anyone, how much of a threat you take that as probably says more about what you think you may have to lose, rather than gain.

    I don't think that China has any intention of invading Taiwan, though my Taiwanese contacts/friends would beg to differ. The Chinese are the masters of softly softly catch the monkey. The movement for re-joining China is quite strong, I believe, and whilst China definitely wants Taiwan back in the fold, a military solution would be completely counter productive.
     
  17. SteveHd

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    What's notable, to me, was how quickly and easily they re-configured a missile originally designed for another purpose. And it appears that they're sending a message to someone.

    Background: the SM-3 is an anti-missile missile and a fairly new design. It's launched from a surface ship such as an Arleigh Burke and relies upon the ship's AEGIS radar for initial targeting data. As it's closing in on the target it also uses inboard infrared sensors. The "kill vehicle" is a kinetic warhead meaning it uses its weight and speed [20lbs at ~17,000mph] to smash another warhead.

    The published "max altitude" was 100 miles and so the satellite hit at 150 miles disclosed something not previously revealed about SM-3. From what I've read, the satellite was just barely within its range; another 20 miles might have been out-of-reach.

    Three missiles were modified -- out of an inventory of ~20 -- to hit the satellite. The mods were mostly software changes. If there were substantial hardware changes, not much has been revealed about those.

    My theory about why they did the satellite shoot down is: demonstrate how robust the SM-3 system is. They sent a message to someone. I don't know who but I don't think the intended audience is China.
     
  18. SteveHd

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    Attached is two pics of the SM-3 that hit the satellite. Second pic is a zoom and crop of the first.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. SteveHd

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    Update: It was recently disclosed that the hydrazine fuel exploded upon impact by the kill vehicle and the fuel burned for more than 20 seconds afterwards. The impact of the kill vehicle was more destructive than "anticipated".
     
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