This is coolbert:
Here is a big time headline in the news today:
"Officials: U.S. to try to shoot down errant satellite"
NOT quite correct, however.
NOT trying to shoot it down. The satellite is going to crash into earth anyhow. Whatever is done at this point, the satellite will still come out of errant orbit and slam somewhere into the earth.
NOT shooting it down as much as destroying elements aboard that are dangerous to humans. "toxic hydrazine propellant". This is the problem?
"While much space trash and debris have safely crashed to Earth after burning up in the atmosphere on re-entry, authorities said what makes this 5,000-pound satellite different is the approximately 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic hydrazine propellant it carries."
A hit near a populated area and the spew of toxic propellants could kill or maim a lot of folks? NOT to mention falling debris.
I had originally thought the problems was more than likely radioactive junk aboard the satellite used as a power source. Heat from nuclear reaction used to power the "bird", such as plutonium, could also be released near a populated area, reason for a massive clean-up. This is NOT the case?
"The goal is to hit the satellite just before it enters Earth's atmosphere and blast it apart so that the hydrazine tank explodes. The smaller debris would be more likely to burn up in the atmosphere."
"There will be three Navy ships involved in the operation. The USS Lake Erie, an Aegis cruiser, will fire the missile, while trajectory information comes from a second ship. The third ship will be used as a backup, U.S. Navy officials said."
"The Lake Erie has long been used as the platform for the sea-based missile defense program."
This is going to be a U.S. Navy operation. Aegis class ship used previously as an experimental platform for missile defense!
Additionally, a chance to test, in a real-world environment, the software, the hardware, the concept of missile defense? NOT an exercise-out-of-the-can.
Advocates have for a long time now promoted the concept of sea-borne anti-ballistic missile defense. U.S. Navy warships of an improved-Aegis variety with improved ABM [anti-ballistic missiles] aboard, cruising near the coastline of a hostile power, are more suited to provide a boost phase intercept and shoot-down capability of missiles fired at the U.S. [presumably carrying a nuke]!!
I hope this goes well. A success will be a big plus for the U.S. military! Go for it and good hunting!!