Feeds

Pentagon: Bullseyed turkey-sat pieces will all burn up

You ain't gittin' none of our nuggets

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The US military says it is corporately very pleased with the results of last Thursday's missile intercept of a malfunctioning spy satellite above the Pacific. According to American space radar, only small fragments of the bus-sized spacecraft remain in orbit, and they will all burn up as they re-enter.

America's number-two serviceman, General James Cartwright - who was the public face of the intercept operation - spread the praise lavishly in a release yesterday.

"The successful satellite engagement was truly a collaborative effort from across the U.S. government, the armed forces, industry and academia working together," he said.

"Close workings with the National Security Council, State Department, Defense Department, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and Department of Homeland Security was absolutely key to the effort. The U.S. Navy... was fundamental to the operation and did a superb job. The expertise of people from the U.S. Strategic Command, Air Force Space Command and Army Strategic Command was invaluable."

General Cartwright supervised the operation personally from the Pentagon's National Military Command center, wearing a flight suit. An American warship in the Pacific, USS Lake Erie, fired a modified SM-3 missile which lobbed a small kinetic kill vehicle into the dead satellite's path. The crippled spacecraft destroyed itself as it smashed into the vehicle at several miles per second.

It seems that the US space scanners can see fewer than 3,000 bits of debris still orbiting, "all smaller than a football". These are expected to re-enter and burn up in "coming days and weeks... it is unlikely any will remain intact to impact the ground."

"By all accounts this was a successful mission," said General Cartwright.

Pah. We'd have much preferred an outcome involving secret spy-sat tech turning up on eBay - possibly giving away some amazing new skyspy gadget, or perhaps revealing something really embarrassing like a sandwich left in the works during assembly. But, as the general says, the destruction mission seems to have achieved its aim. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.