Feeds

Pentagon: Bullseyed turkey-sat pieces will all burn up

You ain't gittin' none of our nuggets

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?