Originally Posted by Tully Mars
It's been done using an F-15 as the launch platform. I'm assuming a satellite, being in a predictable orbit, is a little easier to hit than an incoming ICBM.
The article says "Aegis" and "SM-3", which means a cruiser will be the launch platform. That program has been very successful, AskNott.
ICBM's are reasonably predictable, too. The problem with shooting them down is detecting, tracking, and intercepting in a timely manner. I've forgotten how long it takes an ICBM to cross half the world, but it must be on the order of 30 minutes to an hour. They have days for this.
The hard part with "shooting down" a satellite is that gravity being what it is, they do not fall down just because you hit them with a big missile. So, they have to wait until it is low enough down that the debris does not orbit, and be able to predict roughly where the debris will strike.
cher3, no need for the Bush bashing. I'm sure a prime reason for destroying the satellite is to destroy the imaging technology on it, and make sure it sinks into the deep blue sea where no one will find it. Destroying the hydrazine fuel is a bonus. If Bush just thought it would be cool, he could shoot at any number of defunct satellites.