US will attemp to shoot down crippled satellite

Here’s the link. Could be interesting to see how this works out.

I found this part a bit puzzling:

The objection to the chinese test was that it generated significant orbital debris that will persist for a long time, whereas this satellite is about to fall anyway, so persistent debris isn’t an issue.

It’ll be interesting to see if it can be done. Our mythical Star Wars missile defense system aims for a very similar mission, and the track record is less than stellar. :rolleyes:

Actually, and U.S. Navy cruiser will use a missile to “engage” the stricken satellite. The PA guidance for the event does not contain the words “shoot,” “shoot down”, “destroy,” or “explode.”

I get the distinct impression that the President want them to do this just because it will be cool.

The crippled satellite should be given the official designation “Christopher Reeve” and the missile “SA Eastern Express.

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.

I thought the problem was that although they move in a predictable arc, they are very, very fast.

Shoot it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

Then you have those nasty pieces in orbit like the Chinese left to possibly cause havoc with other satellites. And if my C-Band is affected, I’ll be really pissed. :slight_smile:

Or do you mean shoot it from a device in orbit? We’ve probably got one, but don’t want anyone to know about it. :slight_smile:

They are fast, but if they were as fast as satellites, they’d be in orbit. (Technically, they are in orbit, just one that intersects the Earth’s surface.)

I have never heard that we have missiles in space. That sounds like the old Thunderbirds show.