The United States is going to try to shoot down a satellite that never worked.
It's unclear whether the Navy missile is intended to destroy the satellite because otherwise it might fall on your head, or to get rid of the secrets that might be contained therein.
But let's go with the first possibility.
Veterans of falling things will remember Skylab, which tumbled to earth after weeks of fretting, hand-wringing, and putting the tops up on our convertibles. It ended up splattering across the Indian Ocean and a small part of Australia.
There are approximately 600,000 pieces of space junk floating around. There is only one person who has ever been hit by falling space debris, in this case a piece of a Delta II rocket. It was a woman in Oklahoma, who was uninjured and was presumed to be looking for a good reason to move anyway.
But let's get to the numbers. The probability of you being hit by space debris, according to Physics World Magazine, is one in a trillion. UK bookmakers, however, are placing the odds at 20 billion to one. I should point out that odds and probability are not the same thing.
That said, the current odds of life being found on one of Saturn's moon are 10,000 to 1.
Gen. James Cartwright, who announced the shoot-down effort today, would not say what the odds -- or even the probability -- are of the missile hitting the satellite.
I've got a third reason why we would do it -- to see if we can.
This has nothing to do with hydrazine, or how much may last until landfall. It has everything to do with not wanting anybody, anywhere, to get their hands on even a piece of this spy satellite.
I always get disgusted when our leaders spit such ridiculous garbage from their mouths. they're scared that a satellite is going to hit someone, yet they bomb civilians in a war? c'mon guys, i'm not stupid.
Sorrry Saint. You're stupid.
Saint I have to agree with Tom you're not the sharpest marble in the bag. I invite you to come to Afghanistan and see just who is bombing civilians.
80+ killed today at Khandahar City dog fight by the Taliban. That is if you could even drive thru here without being kidnapped, beheaded or shot dead by Uzbek's, Chechen, Arab's or others flocking for work as a mercinary mujhadin's. All in the name of Allah. Tashakoor, az dedanne shumaa khoosh shadum.
(Collins notes: And let's let this be the end of the discusison that has nothing to do with the original post)
This is all part of the false news - there is no satelite, hydrazine or high sensitivity space imaging sensor!
By the way, I meant to tell you all if anyone wants to see the satellite -- that is or isn't really there -- I understand it's a particularly impressive site in its low orbit.
If the clouds clear, St. Paulites can see it tonight at 5 seconds before 7 10 degrees above the SSW horizon to 27 degrees above the SSE horizon.
but Tuesday may be the best chance as it goes directly overhead. At 6:46:57, look 10 degrees above the SW horizon. In about 3 1/2 minutes it descends 23 degrees above the NE horizon....with its highest point being pretty much directly overhead -- 82 degrees above the NW horizon.
It's only about 163 miles up.
that's what im talkin' about - cheers
I don't get it...wouldn't the hydrazyine or whatever just burn up?
I mean, it's highly explosive...is the gas tank going to survive a re-entry?
maybe they should put a little self-destructo thingy on future satellites...personally I'd like to see if we can do it, I mean, my money is def on the let's see if we can do it hypothesis.
I understand the construction is such that there is a good chance the component would survive re-entry.
The Russians used to put explosives on their satellites and when they were done, they'd blow them up. The problem is if you do that, you probably increase the amount of space junk.
and also in this case the satellite never worked, NASA (or the Air Force or whoever) never was able to communicate with it, so they wouldn't have been able to give it a command to blow itself up.
makes sense...except if the Navy hits it with a missile won't that create the same junk problem?
And I'm guessing that the shuttle can't retrieve it right? Too big? Too low in orbit or something?
Also...would the US have a problem with China, Russia, or anyone else removing a satellite from orbit through the use of ship-to-orbit missile.
And to totally overload you with questions, will this sort of surgery be necessary in the future?
China -- I believe it was China -- claimed to have shot down its own satellite a year or two ago (can't remember exactly) and, oh boy, did the U.S. ever has something to say about that! And, now, I understand China is "voicing concern" about this latest plan.
You are correct, that obliterating the satellite has some "space junk" possibilities although I believe given its low orbit that these pieces would be more inclined to fall and be incinerated.
But, keep in mind, I'm no physicist.
Update Mon 7:03 p.m. - The Heaven's Above site is giving different data now for Tuesday. I don't know the exact reason for the changes but maybe the orbit is changing that much. It went a little to our East tonight (Monday) and should've split Orion's Belt at 6:54, but, alas, there was a line of thin clouds and we didn't see it at Casa Collins.
Attached is my Long Exposure print of the US193 Satellite just minutes after the missile impact at about 19:37 over the pacific. According to recent tle, computer tracking, this is most likely bits of the US193 still on it's flight path after the DOD shoot down attempt. Other than two bright flashes, visible easily with the naked eye and an bright as Venus, there was only this discernable traces on the normal sat pass.
I wouldn't concern myself with a Chinese satellite disintegrating and falling to earth. Most bamboo will burn up high in the atmosphere.