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U.S. to Shoot Broken Satellite Carrying Lethal Fuel

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by LordOpie, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Couple questions:

    1. How come they don't send satellites with a self-destruct option?

    2. If the boat launched missles miss, then that's a waste, so why not put a manual guidance system with a small fuel supply (to navigate in space) on a missle so they can pull right up to the satellite and then manually detonate?
     

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  2. Dartman

    Dartman Old Bastard Mike

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    Why don't they just send the shuttle to pick it up and bring it back?

















    Oh yeah...

     
  3. S.K.C.

    S.K.C. Turbo Monkey

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    Yeah - when I saw that I smelled BS.

    Plenty of satellites have been allowed to decay in orbit to the point where they re-enter earth's atmosphere and then make landfall. Some of them use fissionable materials for a fuel source, but sometimes the satellites can be guided with thrusters to make landfall in a relatively uninhabited part of the world.

    Since it's a spy-satellite that they want to shoot down, God only knows what kind of stuff they have on board.

    My guess is this:

    1) They can't control orbital decay and they know it's going to land someplace they don't want it to (the ocean) so that's why they're gonna pop it out of the sky.

    or

    2) They can't control orbital decay and the thing is running some kind of fissionable materials power source (statement was that it contains "hazardous materials") and that they know it would make landfall in a densly populated area.

    But who knows really.

    Maybe the Navy is getting blue-balls and they want an excuse to blow something out of the sky.

    :biggrin:
     
  4. DH Diva

    DH Diva Wonderwoman

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    As long as they orchestrate the entire event to "Rocketman" I'm okay with it.
     
  5. I Are Baboon

    I Are Baboon Run, Forrest, Run!

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    Shooting it down seems excessive. Why can't they just give it a stern talking to?
     
  6. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    That's gotta be the main reason.

    The fun of it.
     
  7. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    smoke screen.

    a stray is going to iran.
     
  8. X3pilot

    X3pilot Texans fan - LOL

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    Satellite???? What satellite???

     
  9. urbaindk

    urbaindk The Real Dr. Science

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    If what I read is to be believed, the satellite is the size of a large city transit bus. It probably wouldn't burn up completely upon reentry. The "hazardous" material on board is a few hundred pounds of the solid rocket fuel hydrozine, pretty nasty stuff, but not fissionable material. The effects of breathing it would be similar to inhalation of ammonia or chlorine gas. Hard on the damn lungs, fo' sho'. That's the official line anyway.

    Personally, I'm not sure what to think. Seems fishy that the Chinese recently tested a surface-to-space missile system to shoot down one of their failed weather satellites. I'm guessing (pure conjecture here) that the US is looking at this as a test of a satellite intecept system using the hazardous material as a convenient cover.

    The problem with the Chinese test is that they blew theirs up in high orbit leaving a huge field of debris, most of which will remain in orbit (nice). The US is waiting until the thing is about to reenter before targeting it, so the pieces will actually fall and burn up rather than trashing up space. That's a positive at least.
     
  10. johnbryanpeters

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    Hydrazine is not solid fuel. It's a colorless liquid and it is very nasty stuff. The have procedures after the shuttle lands to avoid killing the astronauts with it when they exit the shuttle.
     
  11. CrabJoe StretchPants

    CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    Send MBC up there and have her way with it.
     
  12. Upgr8r

    Upgr8r High Priest or maybe Jedi Master

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    I'm interested in seeing if they can hit it. If nothing else it would be cool to watch
     
  13. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    You forgot #3 which, in my mind is even more likely:
    3)They want to test the shipboard missile system against a satellite without raising too much of stink.

    I didn't read the article, but if it is the Aegis-based Standard missile 3 that's being called for the job, #3 gets my vote.

    edit: just read it and it is an SM-3
     
  14. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Or, Aliens and UFOs are real and we now have a concern about their intentions!
     
  15. urbaindk

    urbaindk The Real Dr. Science

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    OK, sure but the freezing point is pretty high (2° C.) It certainly would be liquid at RT (25° C) but maybe not in space, depending on which end of the satellite was point at the sun, of course.

    Yeah, It's pretty nasty: MSDS Probably better than dumping a bunch of Pu into though wouldn't you think? At least once it's reacted it's gone.

     
  16. urbaindk

    urbaindk The Real Dr. Science

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    My thoughts exactly, the Chinese already did it, why can't we?
     
  17. spocomptonrider

    spocomptonrider sportin' the CROCS

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    Millions of dollars spent on R&D and building the thing and it quote: "stopped working hours after launch"...
     
  18. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    They spent 1.5 billion on the the Hubble telescope and it was optically dead in the water when they first put it up there:busted:
     
  19. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Or the mars lander where they focked up meters and feet?

    sh1t happens.
     
  20. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Hey man, give them a break, that is rocket science:busted:
     
  21. johnbryanpeters

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    The shuttle uses hydrazine and oxygen for its orbital maneuvering subsystem. I don't know what they do to keep it fluid in the tanks. I do recall that for thirty seconds or so after a burn starts you need to estimate fuel level rather than using the sensors because in zero g the fuel tends to hang aroung in random globs and it takes time to settle.
     
  22. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    without a doubt, they want to test the missle. I'm alsosure they want to keep anyone from seeing the payload.
     
  23. kev211

    kev211 Monkey

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    It wont miss. My dad actually designed the defense system that is gonna be shooting the missile, and he had to go into work today to run the program to make sure it was still good to go. The missle will hit. And supposedly, the missle isnt just an ordinary missle. I dont know what it is, but my dad couldnt tell me. So, I guess its a pretty gnarly missile
     
  24. stevew

    stevew unique white person

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    Now you are getting into the plot of the new Indiana Jones movie.
     
  25. Dartman

    Dartman Old Bastard Mike

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    Tell him to be careful with his floating point to integer conversions!

     
  26. S.K.C.

    S.K.C. Turbo Monkey

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    Yep - An SM-3 would be the most likely candidate for such a task, although it would need a different guidance system and a way to track the satellite during in-flight... they would need some serious radar capabilites to handle the tracking of that thing - maybe X-Band? But last I heard that system was breaking down more often than an 84' Yugo. :)

    The whole "hydrazine" excuse to shoot it down just doesn't make any sense though - the cloud it would create would be relatively harmless, (spread over maybe a few acres) and that's IF the tank ruptured on impact. There's gotta be another explanation.

    I still say it's either because the Navy and EG&G have a hard-on for testing some new track & shoot platform like OR there is something on that spy satellite that they REALLY don't want recovered.
     
  27. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    You heard wrong. Aegis BMD - 12 intercepts in 14 attempts.
     
  28. buildyourown

    buildyourown Turbo Monkey

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    Kinda like the Patriot missile systems of Iraq: Round 1?
    Or maybe our ICBM intercept?
    Or how about Star Wars? The Reagan version, not the George Lucas one.

    You're probably too young to remember those but our gov has a history of spending billions on missiles to shoot down missiles.
    Apparently, it's quite tricky, so the military tells everybody that they work great, when in actuality, they don't work at all.
     
  29. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    Patriot was never designed to shoot down missiles. It was an anti-aircraft system with a last minute software tweak.

    Which one? Aegis BMD has been quite successful at midcourse intercepts and THAAD is finally proving itself in the terminal phase. It's only a matter of time before what's working with these systems is applied to others.

    Brilliant Pebbles was an ingenious concept. It was cut for political more than any other reasons.

    Really? So all of those successful intercepts that I watched in real time from the General's conference room at the Missile Defense Agency were faked?
     
  30. Reactor

    Reactor Turbo Monkey

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    You'd be surprised how often they are. From skewing statistics, to using "enhancement" to help identify the target. In fact the general you sat with may have helped fake it.


     
  31. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Slight OT, but The Pentagon Wars was a pretty good movie:clapping:
     
  32. BigMike

    BigMike BrokenbikeMike

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    And don't forget it's going to cost $60 million to shoot it down!


    Linky
     
  33. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    Why can't they fix it in orbit? Atlantis is up there right now.
     
  34. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Its probably too far away, time intensive, lack of spare parts, and other for unplanned retrieval and repair.

    Bunch of rookies with funny names too: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j2AUeBLHxZRFb6_47-1kn8aB-mdwD8ULP0EO0

    The Frick[in'] shuttle commander with co-pilot Poindexter and Dr. Love?
     
  35. LordOpie

    LordOpie MOTHER HEN

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    My point about Atlantis is that they are sending shuttles up. Hasn't this sat been dead for more than a year? They should've planned a repair and fixed it at their leisure.
     
  36. syadasti

    syadasti i heart mac

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    Its probably not useful anymore or you can just go with bureaucracy. People like to shoot things and make them go boom:

     
  37. cheetaprowlerDH

    cheetaprowlerDH Turbo Monkey

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    surviving the hell of the living deceased... VIST
    yaaaay, lets go shoot billions of our citizens tax dollars at more billions of our citizens tax dollars and watch them blow eachother up!!!

    so theres no way to spend the rest of that fuel and send the thing screaming headlong into the asteroid belt? man if they did, the inhabitablenvironmentalists would be all over the government!!! but that doesnt cost billions of dollars does it? and we dont get to watch the boom with all of its intensity... well scrap that then!

    sorry if i overlooked whether the thing is malfunctional or not, but if it functions whay dont we turn it around before it comes back into orbit? theres not much to aim for and not much to miss out there right?
    send it off and forget about it... it might come back in a parallel universe though!!! lol

    **edit**
    wow what a dumba$$, it says its broken in the title.... sorry guys, i'm deleriously tired
     
  38. kev211

    kev211 Monkey

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    Hey, Im not saying theres not any flaws! Personally I think its kind of a crap shoot. Theres no toxic chemicals on that. The US doesnt give a sh!t about that. Theyre doing it for 3 reasons.

    1. Relations with foreign countries (dont want our big hunk of metal crushing a small town)
    2. Target Practice (Self Explanitory)
    3. Spy Satellite (A.K.A. Top secret sh!t that the U.S. doesnt want in the hands of say North Korea)
     
  39. BikeGeek

    BikeGeek BrewMonkey

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    Obviously I can't go into it as far as a good explanation requires, but the short answer is that it depends on which component of the system is being tested. The media is quick to point out all the "help" a successful test had, but they rarely understand exactly what the test was meant to accomplish. There's a lot more to it than a missile hitting a target.

    At the same time, DoD always tries to make every test look like a complete success, even when the success was planned and ensured through things like GPS and programed trajectories.

    The bottom line is that they are both (media and DoD) at fault. I only like to point out that successful intercepts are happening without help because there are some brilliant people whom I know and have worked with behind this stuff and I feel they deserve some credit for this crazy, sci-fi stuff they've dreamed up because it actually works.

    As far as the "games" being played with bogus test results and poor reporting, it's all just politics and only one of the reasons I'm no longer working in the defense machine.
     
  40. Wumpus

    Wumpus makes avatars better

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    There is a good chance that they aren't in compatible orbits. The space station and shuttle hang out in low earth orbit, and I would imagine the satellite in question is in a higher orbit.