Video of satellite shoot-down


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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Video of satellite shoot-down

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Profile Scarecrow
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Message 716707 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 4:00:54 UTC


Spy Satellite Blast Caught On Tape (wired.com)

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Message 716714 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 4:11:50 UTC

Thanks Scarecrow. It's very interesting to me how we have the ability to make a few calculations and be able to hit a tiny little satelite orbiting around the Earth at such high speeds.
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Message 716758 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 5:49:44 UTC

You know, the more I think about it, that wasn't a satellite, it was an $80,000,000 duck.

I imagine shooting it down was about like duck hunting, you just had to lead it a little bit more.
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Message 716978 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 18:35:44 UTC

First China and now the US. When does Russia shoot one down and go for the trifecta?
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Message 717018 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 20:04:16 UTC

I couldn't find anything, but did they use a bomb to blow up the satellite, or did they just depend on impact? What was the impact (relative) velocity? Maybe all this is classified. Thanks.
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Message 717032 - Posted: 22 Feb 2008, 20:33:41 UTC - in response to Message 717018.

I couldn't find anything, but did they use a bomb to blow up the satellite, or did they just depend on impact? What was the impact (relative) velocity? Maybe all this is classified. Thanks.

They say it was purely a kinetic impact missile (think Animal House... RAMMING SPEED!). :)

Here's a little bit about it at space.com

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Message 717229 - Posted: 23 Feb 2008, 4:39:43 UTC

This is a bit of old news, but I though I would post it in case you haven't seen it yet.

The Pentagon says it is confident that a missile has destroyed the toxic fuel tank of a defunct US spy satellite.

"We're very confident that we hit the satellite. We also have a high degree of confidence that we got the tank," says Marine General James Cartwright, vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, adding that there is roughly a 90% chance the tank has been breached.

Cartwright says a fireball in video images of the strike, a vapour cloud that formed and indications of hydrazine in the air are all evidence.

But he says it could take another 24-48 hours to know for sure.

Debris from the satellite has already started to re-enter the atmosphere over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans but nothing larger than a football has been detected so far, he says.

The 2300 kilogram satellite was struck by an SM-3 missile fired from the USS Lake Erie northwest of Hawaii.

The strike took place 246 kilometres above the Pacific Ocean as the satellite sped through space at more than 27,000 kilometres per hour, the Pentagon reports.

The operation was the first time a sea-based missile has been used to hit a satellite, according to experts.

The US and the Soviet Union conducted anti-satellite tests in the Cold War but used other techniques.

This latest operation used modified elements of the US missile defence system and supporters of that project were quick to praise the operation.

But US defence secretary Robert Gates says it should not be seen as a test of the missile defence system's viability.

"We've had a number of successful tests," he says. "I think the issue of whether it will work is behind us. We just need to keep improving its capabilities."


Concern about motives
Russia and China expressed concern ahead of the mission.

Moscow said it could be used as cover to test a new space weapon; China, criticised by Washington after it shot down one of its own satellites last year, said the operation may influence security in space and harm other countries.

Washington says the only reason for the mission is to prevent harm to humans from fuel on the bus-sized satellite, which was expected to re-enter the earth's atmosphere within the next couple of weeks.

Without intervention, its 450 kilogram fuel tank could have released its load of hydrazine fuel as a toxic gas if it had fallen to earth, causing health risks for anyone nearby, officials say.

But some space experts have questioned the Pentagon's justification for the mission, saying the chances of any part of the satellite causing harm are extremely remote.


Defending actions
Pentagon officials have denied suggestions they wanted to destroy the satellite to prevent part of the classified spacecraft from falling into the hands of rival powers.

US officials also have rejected accusations from some security and space experts that the Pentagon is using the operation to test and demonstrate its ability to hit targets in space following China's anti-satellite test.

Washington says its case is different from the Chinese test because it was announced in advance and undertaken to protect people.

It also says the Chinese craft was struck at a higher altitude, more crowded with other satellites.

The Pentagon says the stray spacecraft was a test satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, a US intelligence agency, that was launched in December 2006 and stopped communicating within a few hours of reaching orbit.

You can find this article Here.


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Message 717497 - Posted: 23 Feb 2008, 20:31:28 UTC

So, if I understood correctly the intercept missile was going in the opposite direction of the satellite or was closing in on it at roughly right angles at satellite velocity. Yes, that sounds like quite a feat. Their relative velocity was over 10 km/sec, and so, only 1/100 second before impact they were still over 100 meters apart. Ultra-rapid guidance.
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Message 717656 - Posted: 24 Feb 2008, 3:29:38 UTC - in response to Message 716758.

You know, the more I think about it, that wasn't a satellite, it was an $80,000,000 duck.

I imagine shooting it down was about like duck hunting, you just had to lead it a little bit more.
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It would have been even more expensive if they missed...:)
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Video of satellite shoot-down

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