As many news portals announced The U.S. Navy likely will make its first attempt to shoot down a faulty spy satellite Wednesday night. It seems a warning was issued
by the US government to all ships and planes to stay away from a specific area of the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii. The notice says the two- and-a-half hour window begins 2:30 a.m. Thursday Greenwich Mean Time, which is 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on the East Coast, and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Hawaii. If you were wondering about the Atlantis space shuttle, don’t worry the timing of the satellite shoot down is after the space shuttle is scheduled to be safely on the ground. Also the Pentagon officials warns that the notice reflects the first opportunity to make the satellite go down, and solve this problem, but it’s possible the attempt it’s delayed until further notice:
“We have to make the notification, but it’s possible the conditions won’t be ideal, or that everything won’t be ready,” said a Pentagon official who asked not to be identified.
The satellite that costs approximately 5000 pounds, malfunctioned immediately after its launch in 2006, December, has a full tank of fuel attached to it. It is likely that it would remain intact during re-entry and disperse potentially deadly fumes and substances over an area the size of two football fields. The Navy plans to fire at the satellite as it enters Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of about 150 miles. The cost of the satellite shoot down was estimated by the Missile Defense Agency at 40 to 60 million
dollars. The option of striking the satellite with a missile launched from an Aegis cruiser was decided upon by President Bush after consultation with several government and military officials and aerospace experts, said Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey. I wrote this article after I read about this thing on CNN so you might find in here some numbers I got from there.
The reason I wrote this, is the connection with an aspect of technology, and I do like a saying “With great power comes great responsability”. If we launched a faulty satellite into our sky, it’s our business to take care of it, and we should make it fast and clean. This is an ugly part of science and technology but this things happens and we have to be prepared to deal with them.