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Apparently the shooting gallery was a success.

A defense official says a missile launched from a Navy ship in the Pacific hit the U.S. spy satellite it was targeting 130 miles above Earth's surface. Full details are not yet available.

Presumably, we'll find out just how successful it was in the coming days.


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Pete Nelson wrote:

I'm sure someone else has thought of this, but I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere.

I've been wondering since I first saw this if it was done as response (and because we had a satellite that conveniently needed to be dealt with) to China's shootdown of their satellite - just to show them that we can do it too, should the need arise.

Cecil Trotter wrote:

I noticed that Keith Cowing over at NASAWatch has adopted the standard leftist position (shocker huh?) and flatly declared this to have been an ASAT Test.

Paul Breed wrote:

It was a safe and sane ASAT test.
Why does everyone have their knickers in a knot over that?

No long term downside, and a good test. Unlike the China test that has long lived debris that will last 500 years or more.

Anonymous Hoosier wrote:

I'm wondering why the big explosion shown in the video. Didn't think you were supposed to get an explosion like that using a kinetic kill vehicle. Can anyone provide their insights?

Dave G wrote:

According to the Pentagon spokesman, the explosion was likely due to the rupturing hydrazine tank. He said they detected gaseous hydrazine in the blast cloud afterward.

As far as this being an ASAT demonstration, I'd say it was pretty weak. It took how long (3 weeks?) to mod the vehicle for ASAT ops. Good thing we weren't in a hurry.

And, regarding the Chinese, they should look at this as an example of the proper way to demonstrate ASAT technology (as opposed to their idiotic demo).

Alan K. Henderson wrote:

This is a RIM-161 Standard missile 3, the most powerful anti-ballistic missile in the world. Do ya feel lucky, punk?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on February 20, 2008 8:38 PM.

"Progressive" Space Discussion was the previous entry in this blog.

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