I think the "User Friendly" cartoon over the last 3 days has the definitive explanation - from: http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=20080219&mode=classic
No coat, just the anti-sat hard hat...
Pentagon officials say that a malfunctioning US spy satellite targeted for destruction has been hit by a missile-defence interceptor. The dead spacecraft smashed into a kinetic kill vehicle, lobbed into the satellite's path 250km above the Pacific by a Standard missile from US cruiser Lake Erie. According to a Pentagon release …
They just happened to have this modified missile handy, on a cruiser in a suitable position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the trajectory software was knocked up in a week when this super secret satellite "GallileoTargetPractice#1" failed to respond.
They then launched the missile trusting the new software wouldn't send it crashing into any populated area.
All to protect the earth from a satellite that could come crashing to the ground, damaging someones roof. Like a mini skylab.
Yeh, I'm totally sold on it.
After all hoopla and hype, its inconcievable that Russians and Chinese would have let this opportunity go without filming, tracking, monitoring this shootdown. If they can film the shuttle 400 miles above all the way down, why not this one?
Any chance that it may have missed and the hype survived? Cmon YOUTUBE, where's the clip?? Any amateurs out there have a clip or two?
Should be fun watching it all!
The 'sat' was definitely extraterrestrial in origin.
I reckon ET was on his way home, but forgot his sandwiches and phoned the SecDef to ask if he could send them up to him. "Kinetic Kill Vehicle" my arse, it was a Buzz Lightyear lunchbox with two rounds of ham n cheese and a chocolate milk.
ET's now gone on his way with a full tummy and will hopefully say nice things about us to his galactic overlord.
Mine's the one with the bicycle/moon picture on the back, ta
when this frickin' brick hit me on the head, 'ow!
what the 'ell is this then? some SSD ram thingy?
Oh my God... Misslegate.
Do you know what? George Bush is not really ...
Zomg... they're after me.... I'm uploading the contents now... If I don't make it publish it please...
"The other effect of the interception is that the bits which did survive will mostly have come down along a track of the American government's choosing, mainly into the ocean or thinly-peopled nations closely allied to the US."
Is that what you get for being closely allied to the US? A pile of junk falling on your head from the outer space?
Of course the Americans hit the target, it was US made probably with US flags painted on it.
As we've seen in the past the US military have no problem taking out US/Nato/UN troops, it's another matter when their target has an 'enemy' nation's insignia on it.
Mine's the one made out of an Iranian flag.
Maybe I'm being a bit dense here, but if the pieces of the broken satellite carried on the original trajectory, why would they lose orbit so quickly after being hit? Surely it couldn't have lost so much momentum for most of the pieces to lose orbit so quickly?
On another note, I'm surprised they pulled this off considering they've manage to miss a target the size of Mars before.
...I was hoping the Chinese or Russians would shoot it down before the Yanks, just for a laugh!
This morning the BBC was toeing the party line, about how the USA did this out of the kindness of their hearts so that we didn't get bits of debris falling on our heads, Chicken Little style.
And then they wonder why they're no longer taken seriously as a news source...
GIven the US military's record for accurately hitting the target they're aiming at, can we really take their word for it that they hit it?
After all, this is the country that has trouble even hitting the right COUNTRY when they're dropping bombs (like the one that hit Sofia when they were trying to drop it on Belgrade.)
Any third-party verification?
"Maybe I'm being a bit dense here, but if the pieces of the broken satellite carried on the original trajectory, why would they lose orbit so quickly after being hit? Surely it couldn't have lost so much momentum for most of the pieces to lose orbit so quickly?"
As far as I'm aware, the original satellite was losing speed / altitude due to atmospheric drag. The smaller sized remains of the satellite would have a higher surface-area:mass ratio, and would lose speed / altitude rather quicker.
It's all to do with atmospheric drag. Assuming you manage to make everything roughly
spherical, then the number of atoms you hit will goes up as r**2, whereas mass goes up
with r**3, so drag (force) goes with m**(2/3), and deceleration goes as 1/m**(1/3). Unless I've made a mistake in that maths, then if the break it up into a thousand pieces, then
they'll be decelerating 10 times faster at any given altitude. But, they're more likely to
actually manage to turn the box-shaped spacecraft into lots of flat things (e.g circuit boards, solar cells, ribbon cables, lenses, "if found, please return to" stickers, etc) so they'll be doing even better than that (compare the drag on a sheet of paper compared
to said paper in a ball).
Presumably the SM-3 releases a cloud of ball-bearings, or something like that,
to increase the hit-probability, rather than just being a well timed rock.. In which case it's more likely that there's going to be millions of pieces, not just thousands.
I remember hearing that the space station (with it's heavy shielding) could (just) survive being hit by something 1cm across (I guess at 7km/s, that's an average orbital speed).
I imagine a few hundred of those would turn the spy-sat into so much mangled mess even before reentry.
"I believe the Pentagon
By Anonymous Coward
Posted Thursday 21st February 2008 10:37 GMT
They just happened to have this modified missile handy, on a cruiser in a suitable position in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the trajectory software was knocked up in a week when this super secret satellite "GallileoTargetPractice#1" failed to respond"
They've known this moment was coming since the satellite was launched and failed to respond in 2006. Lots of time to modify the missile and plan the shot(s). They just had to wait until it was beginning re-entry.
"This morning the BBC was toeing the party line, about how the USA did this out of the kindness of their hearts so that we didn't get bits of debris falling on our heads, Chicken Little style.
And then they wonder why they're no longer taken seriously as a news source..."
yes sadly the BBC aren't allowed to report the conspiricy theories or the imaginations that run rife on the internet...
the just retell what someone else has said before usually... sadly they gave up reporting the conspiricy therories after getting into that trouble that forced Greg Dyke to resign... (David Kelly stories)
The Americans have shown their seaborne anti-missile missile works perfectly given enough space to play with. So any Chinese military scientists looking for a cool billion or ten to build a submarine-launched solid-fuelled MIRVed missile will be to buy that Porsche after all.
This shoot down was done to poke a hole in any further dreams North Korea might have about bullying it's neighbors with its alleged nuclear weapons and spotty missiles.
It was also to buck up the US allies in northeast Asia (e.g., Japan) that they have no need to fear the North Koreans.
When the official story bears no scrutiny whatever on a purely material level, one has to look at the symbolic angle. Especially as we find the BBC and Reg giving it such undue prominence.
Now, the US Navy already established its preeminence among the military services of the USA for hosting future military technologies a while back, so this little exercise could not have furthered that purpose. We can also dismiss the notion of a symbolic me-too - after all, if you are the USA you don't exactly need to ape China (you just inflate the $ a bit more).
This morning there was a total eclipse of the Moon. In fact 0326 was the moment of greatest eclipse, to within 1 minute. Coincidence? Hardly. When the Capi di Tutti want advice, in the absence of a convenient Alien Grey, they will ask an astrologer. And for an astrologer, there is no more significant moment than an eclipse. It does not matter a jot that astrology is mumbo-jumbo, as we are confident the USN's missiles are not powered or guided by voodoo. We decode the moment to understand its relevance - its meaning to the players.
I am advised there was a configuration called "mystic rectangle", involving the robust significators, organised auspiciously, focussed on resilience, but without the implied malevolence of for example 911. (As well, as I don't want the black helicopters crawling all over my roof). Overall connotations are of a military in control, rather than a social governance out of control. So, the possibility exists that this was a very special type of psy-op - one for the initiated, where the message is hidden in plain view.
A counter-psy-op, with the CIA as the target, seems plausible (if you've followed so far). But if the CIA exists as a physical entity, again we need to ask - who (or what) was the symbolic target?
I could of course be completely barking, and the invasion started 23 hrs 40 mins ago...
@Jouni Leppajarvi - Nope. They used a left over Chinese New Year firework with a Beta-test version of Windows Vista as the destructive element. They scored a direct hit and proved two theories at the same time !!
1) The Chinese can do it cheaply !!
2) Windows Vista can destroy anything on contact !!
@Peter Leech - the chances of any rocket fuel, with oxygen in it, burning are slim to none. It's the ones WITHOUT oxygen that burns IN oxygen !!
@Steve - by the time the Americans got their anti-missile ready, the N. Korean missile will have hit Tokyo already !! Those places are NOT a million miles apart, you know, as the Russian Imperial Baltic Fleet discovered in 1905 !! So that theory is shot down like that in the main story !!
Let me see.
In about 1985 the Americans took out one of their own sats with a missile air launched from an F15 and maybe 300km up.
In about 2007 the Chinese out one of their own sats with a ground launched system and maybe 600km up
Now the Americans have 'proven' they can ground launch to 250km .
As for teh Royal Navy , their computer would have shown the sat as "friendly" so the missile would not have launched . The American computers have no such 'scruples' :)
So, we have to tell you in particular every reason we do everything?
Not everything we do is dishonest. I suppose you also feel we deserved 9/11.
Personally, I would have rather an F-15 shot it down with a missile that had to be significantly cheaper than $35-$40 million.
PH - because she is the only one who is sorry that you weren't fully informed. Also because the single digit salute isn't available; the equivalent of nick off.
So-o. We're talking about a satellite here, yes? Now how was that satellite funded? The US government won't say. What does the satellite carry? Similarly, schtum.
But they will tell you some things. They'll tell you that the satellite's never worked. Interesting. We don't know what it's for but it's never worked. They'll tell you that they're shooting it down "due to the danger from the hydrazine fuel". What great humanitarians. The odds of the thing landing near humans are minsicule and even if it did, it would have to land on top of someone - or close by - for the hydrazine to do harm. And, lastly, they'll tell you - as AC already noted, that they just happened to have all of this kit and calculation ready when they decided to obliterate the thing.
So, do I believe that they actually shot it down? About as much as I believe their preparation to do so was, "a one time event ... not a capability that will be coming into service."
"Overall connotations are of a military in control, rather than a social governance out of control. So, the possibility exists that this was a very special type of psy-op - one for the initiated, where the message is hidden in plain view."
Hmmmm. :-) A Virtual Production, Luther? Now that would be Real Sweet and a Quantum Leap ahead into ITs Fields.
And Spookily enough, if you can Think IT, you can do IT.
"Do you get fireballs in a near-vacuum?"
Yes, when you have both fuel and an oxidizer released in close proximity. Did you suppose the hyrdazine was onboard alone, as ballast perhaps? And there was most likely a self-destruct explosive charge on board, too (which couldn't be fired off because the satellite simply never responded to ground commands).
And for those of you smarmy bastards going on about US friendly fire incidents, let me remind you again that UK-inflicted friendly fire has been documented since at least Agincourt (although technically, I suppose that was pre-UK; it's still British, however). The fact that the US military's fire is much more effective than your "modern" Enfields has just made you envious and caused all your bitchy remarks.Why don't you lot have any man-rated oribital launch vehicles, hmm? Is it because British fire control officers can't hit something as big as outer space?
Not so funny when the shoe's on the other foot, is it, Bruce?
and the anti-US media is all p*ssed off that they can't report a failure. Instead, they add the whole "arms race" crap. If America does it first, we're "evil" and it's "natural" and acceptable for the Chinese/Russians to do it just to prove they can. If the Communists do it first, well, that's okay too and America is "evil" for thrying to "close the gap".
Your bias is showing again, LP. You were doing so good for the last few weeks!
Now all you luddites, try this on for size. What is better...NK, Iran or others thinking they can get away with a first strike nuclear attack, and attempting it, only to have 80-90% of its warheads defeated by a ballistic missile defense (spewing plutonium all over the biosphere)...or a single effective demonstration that gets aggressors to go "back to the drawing board" to come up with better plans? Planning doesn't kill or poison anything.
But if you're part of the Anti-Western Propaganda Army then it doesn't matter-logic and reality fall by the wayside-everything and anything done by UK/America/Western Europe is "bad". The same acts done by African nations/China/Russia are "good". (Flying alert-readiness, loaded nuclear bombers over foreign nations-causing intercept scrambles, anyone? Or did you Former Soviet apologists forget all about that?)
Cmon, LP. You've shown you can do it. Informative and fair articles without w@nked-out conspiracy BS are better for everyone.
Do you really think that the US would show their *true* capabilities. This was just a little public show so that everybody would think that the US tech is not nearly as advanced as it is. In reality, they could have used one of the many satellite based death rays to vaporize this space junk but that would have tipped their hand...
It seems that the US have sold the Japanese several Aegis cruisers with anti-missile missiles for defense against the N. Koreans. This latest has several implications on that front:
1. The Japanese now know that their nice shiny anti-missile's software can be hacked to turn them into space weapons. Given that the Japanese public is not in favor of extending the battle space into ... erm, space, this should not go over well.
2. The US Navy had to make this shoot-down work. Otherwise the Japanese would feel that they had been sold a dud.
So you don't believe the satellite was shot down, and you don't believe
that it's "not a capability that will be coming into service".
So, to summarize:
Americans are stupid, the exercise was not successful
Americans are evil, they plan to fail to shoot down satellites in the future
To quote Britney: "huh?"
Boot other foot? You show me a fatal incident in the last 5 years involving friendly fire from British troops against US troops.
I am guessing you are American and therefore find it difficult to take critisism from a country whose army are used to train armies all over the world, admired and respected for their resilience, control and effectiveness despite limited size and equipment.
We mostly all respect the US on some level but you should never mistake this for blind respect ignoring all previous incidents.
Nobody is perfect.
@ian surely you jest since the bulk of the US military electronics is heavily dependent on Japanese Microelectronics to function at the best of times !
As for the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force they always build their own and are actually based on a heavily modified Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer
the second link gives the break down and disposition of the the Japanese Maritime Force current largest class in use is in fact Destroyers with displacements less the 12,000 tonnes.
Further they only have six commissioned aegis class destroyers in their entire fleet .
link 1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kong%C5%8D_class_destroyer
link 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Maritime_Self-Defense_Force
(I'll get my coat)
It is highly unlikely that US marine general James Cartwright - vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, said anything about a "vapour cloud". To quote a US General properly, you must know he would say "vapor cloud".
Further, when British missiles hit a British satellite, you may call the resultant dispersed gases a "vapuor cloud" but so long as American missiles hit American satellites, I must tell you, scientifically, that only vapor clouds are released. American satellites emit only vapor clouds, and never vapour clouds.
The frayed jeans-jacket, please.
Yeah, but they're Danish...will anyone notice???
Of course I'm kidding before anyone jumps on the pedestal.
We don't dislike the americans (well i think i speak for most Brits), it's just in our nature to poke fun at you, cos you all take yourselves far too seriously.
Also the, John McCain, Yippe ky yay, approach to warfare that seems to be the stereotype of the US soldier, induced by a combination of films and documentaries talking to rednecks who are just happy to be able to hold a gun, makes the friendly-fire joke the easiest one to go for. Plus the fact that 1/5 of British Casualties in Afghanistan were inflicted by friendly fire.
So sit back, and have a laugh at yourselves, after all. At least you're nation is not responsible for producing every bad guy in a movie (almost always English or European, until the middle east recently took over).
Furthermore, at least you all have perfectly formed teeth.
The yanks shot down the last remnants of their sense of humour.
God almighty, poke fun at Uncle Sam and you get all these yanks annoyed :)
Anyway after decades of turgid comedies like friends and rip-offs of Basil Fawlty (yes, there was a yank Fawlty Towers), I can't say it's any great loss.
May you rust in pieces.
I'll stick with my reruns of Bottom, thank you very much.
And yes, paris hilton. just because.
John McCain,... Vietnam war hero.
Hmmm. ...... Did he not sit it out and miss all the action in his own private Guantanamo..... to prevent him inflicting suffering on ......well, foreigners to him but natives to the Land he was in.
Yeah, Right On....Peace, Man.
Do you think he is made of the Right Stuff .... Top Gun Presidential material?
cc Barack Obama ..... the Great White Hope?
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