Satellite Shooting

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by In-Limbo, Feb 14, 2008.

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  1. The Americans are going to try and shoot down their own satellite with a missile? Guess I wouldn’t like to be in the international space station at the moment!
  2. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB LE Moderator

    Or Canada, mexico or a surface vessel anywhere within a 1000 clicks.

    edited for drunkenness
  3. General James Cartwright of the Marine Corps said "a window of opportunity" to pick off the satellite before it enters the atmosphere will open in the next three or four days and last for seven or eight days.

    He also said that, to allay any concerns, the operation would wait until after the U.S. space shuttle now in orbit returns to Earth.

    Shuttle??! Fcuk it... Launch Now!!! OooRah!!! :D
  4. Hello,

    are there any rocket scientists here?
    This sounds like an extreme step to counter the threat of rocket fuel which it is suggested may be dangerous if inhaled.
    Wouldn't most of that be burned up on re-entry?
    Given the small amount and the huge size of our atmosphere,isn't the chance of anyone inhaling it remote?

    I have heard there are nuclear powered satellites,I wonder if this is one of them and they are trying hard not to mention it?
    That is pure speculation of course.

  5. Or they have just calculated its trajectory and worked out that it could land in China, Russia, etc and they don't want to run the risk of any of it surviving re-entry.
  6. Globalsecurity is saying it's probably not Nuke powered, but it's the size of a bus and it's got a 1,000lb + toxic payload. So it's a dirty bomb, Defcon 2 if it smacks down somewhere "sensitive".

    Me doth however think that they may be staging it ;)
  7. General James Cartwright of the Marine Corps said "a window of opportunity" to pick off the satellite before it enters the atmosphere will open in the next three or four days and last for seven or eight days.

    Very precise these boys. I hope they didn't use the same mathematicians to work out the launch details!
  8. Yeah I was thinking of that myself :)

    Left a bit, left... no right...

  9. It gives them a chance to test out one of their new toys without risking other satellites (like the Chinese did) and breaks the old wreck into smaller bits that will be more likely to completely burn up. IIRC it was a radar recon sat, so it probably had a nuke (RTG) power plant.
  10. If the fuel is Liquid and enters the atmosphere on its own then there is a very good chance that it wont ignite. Much in the same way that baby birds can fall 80+ feet out of a tree and survive. Droplets of fuel travelling at massive speed would not hit the atmosphere with enough force to ignite it. There is a possibility that the satellite entering the atmosphere could ignite it though. It all depends on where the fuel is.

    The satellite could stay intact long enough to 'protect' the fuel and stop it burning. It depends on the satellite's trajectory and mass and a few other things....

    God I'm boring.

    T C
  11. whats the betting it "accidentally" falls on the Iranian nuke plants?
  12. The part that is getting me is they are saying that only up to 50% of it will burn up on re-entry. Surely more damage would be done as its isnt designed to re-entry toughness levels as with the space shuttle. Yes it is "the size of a small bus" and weighs 2000Kg, but re-entry temp on the space shuttle 1200deg, the strength of steel drops by 66% at the 600deg mark (Hence why the trade centres fell).

    Also i find it hard to believe they cant accurately track this and find out where its going to land, they have done it time and time again so why not now? Now my tin foil hat is firmly on here, but either its going to land somewhere they really don't like, or as MikeMcc said they want to test out a new toy but without causing the stink that the Chinese did.

    Was thinking that myself, would deffinatly a pretty light show. Throw in the zero internet access for Iran and who knows. Im thinking along the lines of a crude mini Rod from God? 8O
  13. I won't argue with your statement that you are boring... :D

    The satellite will not break up before it hits the atmosphere, so your analogy of baby birds parachuting from the nest and not suffering any harm is wasted! There won't be any free fuel to parachute to earth.

    The whole caboodle, which will be travelling at several thousand mph will heat up as it re-enters the atmosphere until the point is reached at which it goes bang. Now, I appreciate that, if there is a heat shield, the bang might not happen because what is left of the fuel might not reach the point at which it can go bang, but this will be one hot mother... stay with me!

    There are two scenarios in my opinion; the first is that it heats up and goes bang at altitude, spraying toxic chemicals everywhere, mainly downwind. The second is that it stays in one lump and hits the ground at several hundred miles an hour spraying toxic chemicals everywhere but within a clearly defined location. The difference is the size of the template.

    Presumably, the Americans have seen the opportunity to practise their sniping skills and are hoping that if knocked out high enough, the debris will burn up high in the atmosphere without any impact on those in the downwind template.

    After a lot of research, I can state categorically that the solution for those of us on the ground is to place a large, brown paper bag on our head, then bend over and kiss our collective arrses goodbye! :D

  14. It's out of control and spinning. No-one can now predict how it will behave when it hits the atmosphere other than it will behave like a spinning stone hitting a lake with extensive ripples. Once it slows enough to enter the atmosphere, the computers will plot the template but they won't have much time and the template will be large. The Shuttle that blew up was spread over 7 States IIRC. Look at Lockerbie - only 30,000ft and the debris was scattered across to the east coast - some 70-80 miles.