Saturday, February 16, 2008

United States to shoot down the defunct spy satellite

It does not take place only in the movies! The US Navy has been ordered to shoot down an out of control spy satellite jolting towards earth. It none other than US President George Bush who is playing hero to dissuade milllions of human casualties. But the biggest doubt though is how potential is his mission?

It is a plot direct out of a Hollywood blockbuster, a descending spy satellite steering straight for Planet Earth, putting millions of lives at risk. However, it is George Bush who's playing the hero. After days of a should-we-shouldn't-we debate, the US President has finally ordered his Navy will shoot down the satellite, quite similair to the Bruce Willis starrer Armageddon.

Three altered SM-3 missiles have already been delivered on board Aegis ships somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The ships would fire a missile, meeting the satellite just above the atmosphere. That way, they have more control over the falling remnant. Once the satellite is hit, officials hope 50 percent of the debris will come to Earth in the first two orbits and the rest will fall later.

The window for firing down the year-old satellite unlocks in the next 2 or 3 days and remains open for as many as seven or eight days. But it is not going to be an easy task. The 9 ton satellite is about the size of a bus, while it has no nuclear fuel, it is loaded with TOXIC beryllium and hydrazine.

Bush's concept may sound good enough but space and security authorities are outraged. Is he using this as an excuse to test and display his country's space weapons? It could afterall trigger an arms race in space, prompting Russia, India and China to respond. However, the Pentagon is adamant. They think that it is the only way human casualties can be prevented. They have little choice after all. They are already facing brickbats for their top secret space mission gone horribly wrong. But hopefully, this Armageddon-like mission may help save face.

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