Skip to comments.Navy waits for satellite kill shot (10:30 p.m. ET)
Posted on 02/20/2008 9:07:08 AM PST by maquiladora
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Navy gunners in the Pacific were watching the sea and sky Wednesday, waiting for perfect conditions to take a kill shot on an errant satellite 150 miles above them.
hey have just a 10-second window to fire, a Pentagon official said, and may not be able to take their shot on their first opportunity at 10:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
"It's not enough to say 'no,' but we're watching the weather," the official told reporters at the Pentagon. "It's on the margin."
The cruiser USS Lake Erie will get one 10-second window each of the next nine or 10 days to fire an interceptor missile that will destroy the faltering spy satellite before it can tumble to Earth and -- possibly -- release a cloud of toxic gas.
The Pentagon said the window of opportunity to strike the 5,000-pound satellite opened Wednesday, when the space shuttle Atlantis landed in Florida. The Pentagon wanted to be sure the shuttle would not be struck by any debris from a destroyed satellite.
But the official said conditions have to be perfect, and that was not the case Wednesday with swells in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii running slightly higher than Navy would like.
The National Weather Service forecast 12- to 15-foot seas west of Hawaii Wednesday with a storm developing in the area.
The United States plans to spend up to $60 million to try to destroy the satellite even though there is only a remote possibility the satellite could fall to Earth, survive re-entry and spew toxic gas in a populated area, said James Jeffrey, deputy national security adviser.
"The regret factor of not acting clearly outweighed the regret factor of acting," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
Red Moon Rising.
Target practice? No way. They want ALL the technology in that bird in pieces that could benefit no enemy of the USA. Would not surprise me to catch Bill and Hillary out there with a giant net on the water —— heck, those pieces could fetch a big bunch of campaign dollars in Commie China —— where is Johnny Chung when they need him?
Fair winds and following seas, sailors.
“The regret factor of not acting clearly outweighed the regret factor of acting,” he said.
Plus it scares the crap out of the russkies and chi-coms he later added.
Might shoot or might not depending on weather.
Track the current position and travel direction of USA 193 on this web site.
For you lunar eclips watchers check this out.
please don't tell our enemies
From Seattle Times:
The government issued notices to aviators and mariners to remain clear of a section of the Pacific just west of Hawaii beginning at 7:30 p.m. PST, indicating the first opportunity to launch an SM-3 missile from a Navy cruiser, the USS Lake Erie, in an effort to hit the wayward satellite.
I would be shocked if reentry and impact did not completely destroy anything of worth. I don't think surveillance satellites are hardened against reentry. So I think the hydrazine is a blind too. How can a fuel tank survive reentry when it's not designed for that?
Pure speculation; but if there were nuclear materials on board, they would survive reentry and would be detected by the folks in the neighborhood where it landed.
Otherwise, this is just an opportunity to test ASAT capabilities against LEO satellites. And we're taking it.
We tell them what we want them to ‘know’. Sometimes what we want them to know just isn’t true...
High seas? Bah! Shoot already.
please don't tell our enemies
This is a totally different situation than an enemy attack. Since there will be multiple opportunities to make the shot, there's no reason to fire under marginal conditions. If there were only one chance to take the satellite out, I'm quite sure that they'd take the shot even in marginal weather conditions.
This is just what you want to hear that we need to wait for good weather in order to shoot. I hope our enemies choose to shoot at us on a bright sunny day so AEGIS can do its job without any distractions.
My thought exactly. Sheesh, do they think we are so stupid that we think some bobbing of the boat isn’t accounted for in the targeting ?
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