Thursday, 14 February 2008
More news on the rogue spy satellite (blog 28 January). The Pentagon plans to shoot it down before it reaches the earth's atmosphere with a missile. The satellite is the size of a minivan, it transpires. Of course all sorts of space junk lands on earth with little or no consequences. "What makes this case a little bit different ... was the likelihood that the satellite upon descent to the Earth's surface could release much of its 1,000-plus pounds (454 kg) of hydrazine fuel as a toxic gas," said James Jeffries, deputy national security adviser helpfully explained. The real danger is apparently from toxic gas.
Bush seems to have been busy as regards this decision, which is less than reassuring and the naughty suggestion has been made that the possibility that classified material may survive re-entry to earth may have figured prominently as regards actual motivation for this decision. Tut! Such cynicism. Equally cynical is the nasty suggestion that a part of the motivation behind the decision may be to show the Chinese what the US military can do. Doubletut! Some experts are of the opinion that it may be better to simply allow the satellite to burn up upon re-entry.
We shall see. It does occur to me that, given the US military's track record on 'friendly fire' the missile is probably as likely to take out Grimsby as the satellite. Actually, that's not a bad idea...