February 21, 2008
Score... Direct Hit
The specially designed (I don't know what they mean by that) SM-3 struck the ailing satellite perfectly last night, destroying it.
In particular, the dreaded hydrazine tank appears to have been obliterated: Evidently, the missile hit the tank dead-on, exploding it in a visible flare.
At 5:26 pm Hawaii time, the USS Lake Erie fired the missile; the satellite ceased to exist at 5:29.
Several unfriendly countries (notably China) have remarked that besides preventing a dangerous situation if the hydrazine tank had, as seemed likely, survived its plummet to earth and burst open on impact... we have also managed to test an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) on the sly. (Of course, the Chinese shot down one of their own satellites on January 11th, 2007... but that's totally different.)
Nobody, however, has remarked upon the fact that, as this satellite was in orbit, traveling at (obviously) an orbital velocity of approximately 7,600 m/sec (17,000 mph), it's a nice simulation of an incoming ballistic missile in coast phase -- that is, after the rocket burn has ended and prior to the warhead(s) reentering the atmosphere.
In an earlier post, we quoted from the New York Times, which salivated over the possibility that the humiliating miss that the Left expected from this warmongering mission might finally drive a stake through the heart of ballistic missile defense (BMD):
Should it succeed, the accomplishment would embolden those who champion even more spending on top of the $57.8 billion appropriated by Congress for missile defenses since the Bush administration’s first budget in the 2002 fiscal year.
It might even revive a dormant effort to focus the military on antisatellite operations, as well. Failure, on the other hand, would be cited as hard and fresh evidence for those who point to the futility of space-warfare programs.
We mocked the illogic of this conjunction; even had we failed, why would that cast doubt on the efficacy of missile defense? We have no choice: Since our enemies will shoot missiles at us, we must be able to knock those missiles down.
But logic aside, we did not fail. We succeeded. In fact, we succeeded spectacularly.
So by the "logic" of the Left, I reckon we can say without fear of contradiction...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 21, 2008, at the time of 4:46 AM
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The following hissed in response by: nk
Not entirely off-topic: Googling this story, I was moderately surprised to learn that there's a whole bunch of amateur astronomers who know all the satellites by name and track them with telescopes.
The above hissed in response by: nk at February 21, 2008 5:03 AM
The following hissed in response by: Chris Hunt
Actually, by the logic of the left, you won't be hearing anything at all about this ever again, except in the context of making the Chinese or the Russians unduly nervous, which is, of course, bad.
The following hissed in response by: MTF
Long Live BMD, indeed. And ruin to the NYT!
The following hissed in response by: Patrick
Wait, isn't this "Star Wars"? That won't work. I couldn't have scored a hit. The New York Times told me it wouldn't work, 20 years ago!
The following hissed in response by: Texas Jack
To make this story even better, the "special design" you were wondering about was the missile payload. That explosion was the Hydrazine going off; the missile carried NO explosive! The solid shot warhead literally had to make a direct hit. In a combat situation the missle would have an explosive warhead (up to small nukes) to give a much larger kill radius to the shot, so a near miss would still take down the target. That makes this a truly outstanding bit of workmanship, both for the Navy and the builders of the bird.
(formerly of D Battery, 1st Missle Bn, 562nd Arty)
The following hissed in response by: necromancer
This is a good thing the military has done. You can find more info at this site.And the msm can P&M all they want.
The exact design and purpose of USA 193 are, of course, closely guarded secrets, but specialists believe it is probably a high resolution radar satellite which was intended to produce images for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
"Yea though I walk through the
"Shadow of the Valley of Death"
I shall fear no evil
for I am the evilest SOB in the Valley.
Quote on an old zippo lighter from the Viet Nam era.
The following hissed in response by: Geoman
Could someone illuminate for me why Russia and China are so opposed to BMD by the U.S.? I mean, it is a purely defensive technology unless they were planning on...you know...launching a missile at us someday, or perhaps threatening to launch such a missile at us...oh...wait....I see.
The following hissed in response by: chriscoolc
As a bonus, you've also got an actual cloud of debris to put through the missile defense pipeline. Because after all, you may have to shoot at whatever turns up in the debris.
The following hissed in response by: nk
"Defensive" weapons are a contradiction in terms. It was the knights' "defensive" armor that allowed them to mow down unarmored peasants like so much wheat before the scythe. As a matter of fact a knight was considered "armed" when he wore his armor and only "belted" when he carried his sword. The classical Greek great shield was called hoplon "weapon" and its bearers hoplites "the armed".
The above hissed in response by: nk at February 21, 2008 3:25 PM
The following hissed in response by: leftnomore
Let's call this Reagan's Revenge! True, it wasn't laser technology, but without our great President this would never have happened. I think of all of the asswipes out there who loathed that man when he first proposed anti-missile defense... do they want hydrazine tanks falling on their condo roof? But will they ever acknowledge the facts as demonstrated? Pfft-- they're too busy pouring another half-caff.
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