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 ?
NASA has a peace policy......really...Lots of peaceniks at that place that have no use for the military.
This tank is 40 inches diameter. Hitting that would be remarkable.
Missle misses. Explodes upon re-entry, leaving a trail of baked lasagna and missle parts across two oceans.
Yes, it would! That would make quite a statement, wouldn't it?
This is essentially another test mission, so I'm not surprised they're waiting for optimum conditions.
i'm planning to stay up to watch the lunar eclipse and viewing this would be icing on the cake.
This might help visualizing the geometry
If we do this it’s going to create a lot of upset folks around the world!
Will be fun to read the KOS and DU sites if this works!
i guess i’ll have to be content with the lunar eclipse.
"Navy gunners in the Pacific were watching the sea and sky Wednesday..."
It’s the full moon, too, which means there are already a lot of people growing claws and teeth and showing a lot of white eye.
A couple days ago someone in this program mentioned the reverse engineering issues if intact pieces landed where they shouldn’t. The idiot infobabe — on MSNBC, I think — was shocked and asked, “You mean other countries could find parts of it and copy them for themselves!?!” (not verbatim, but close) Well DUH!
I’m sure KOS and DU will say either
a. It missed and the satellite actually blew up when it hit the atmosphere.
b. The missile was just cover for our ‘killer satellites’ that are in violation of some treaty.
Middle east Pacific? No, middle west Pacific.
Also, the missile doesn't carry an explosive warhead and the missile's contrail will be far to the west of Hawaii.
But if it turns out it makes a great show for someone, that's fine by me!
I think that nuke (plutonium?) on board and ASAT test are the two most plausible justifications.
I had assumed that USAF would do the shooting with an ASAT. The fact that the Navy is doing.....from the surface!... with a Super Standard is just awesome.
I hope they do this the first time, I really do.
15ft seas (and accompanied winds) are not exactly ripples in a pond.
I hope that if anyone ever launches an attack against us, it’s done in good weather.
That makes two of us. The Chinese are watching this with great interest. They successfully shot down a weather satellite in January 2007.
Sure hope the Chinese first strike doesnt occur during high swells.
The US shot down a satellite in 1985...
"Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast which is already in progress..."
I would imagine there is a system already made to immediately fit in the cargo bay of the shuttle similar to the patriot launcher, besides we have aircraft like the Aurora that can get up real close, the bottom line is we do not want to tip our hand with our best or latest technology. Save the good stuff for when we really really need it.
September 11, 2001...was a fairly nice day, IIRC.
No, but the platform is not a 65 ft yacht, either. Give me a break.
The AEGIS weapon system is billed as the most capable surface launched missile system the Navy has ever put to sea. Its weapons can be trained on targets at a wide range of altitudes from wave top to directly overhead, and is capable of engaging anti-ship cruise missiles and manned aircraft flying in all speed ranges from subsonic to supersonic. The AEGIS system has been employed in all environmental conditions, having both all-weather capability and the abilitt to operate in chaff and jamming environments.