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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Navy Sets Sites on Crippled Satellite

Three United States Navy Aegis cruiser ships will seek to take down a crippled military spy satellite now out-of-control and in a decaying orbit prior to atmospheric re-entry from low earth orbit (LEO) in late February or early March, according to reports today. Here is a Y2k2 VIDEO example of missile-to-satellite intercept using the Standard Missile 3.

In a briefing at the Pentagon, Defense Department officials said they believe about 2,800 pounds of the two-and-a-half-ton satellite could survive and crash, in pieces, on Earth. The satellite, launched in December 2006, broke down soon after reaching orbit. Officials say it was a "test bird," launched by the National Reconnaissance Office, but did not want to give more details, says ABC News.

President Bush ordered the military to try to pick off the satellite [Y2k6 video] because “there was a possibility of death or injury to human beings beyond that associated with the fall of satellites and other space object normally, if we can use that word,” a deputy national security adviser, James Jeffrey, told The New York Times. The most recent Y2k7 test video is HERE [best view full screen w/sound].

Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, told The Washington Post today that the "stated rationale for this shoot-down is simply not credible. There has to be another reason behind this," he said. "In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space."