Feeds

Pentagon says sat-smash smithereen cloud almost gone

Orbital turkey blitz 'added value', seemingly

Business security measures using SSL

An American admiral says that all significant orbital debris from the recent missiling of a duff spy satellite by US warships has now burnt up.

Reuters reports that Rear Admiral Alan Hicks, head of the ship-mounted element of the US ballistic-missile defence programme, made the remarks at a conference in Washington.

"There's very little left up there of any size," said Hicks. "We're down to where there are very very small particles that will burn off as they come down in the atmosphere."

The admiral said the Pentagon was not aware of any part of the crippled surveillance spacecraft coming down intact. The intercept shot was performed by using an SM-3 missile to lob a "kill vehicle" into the path of the satellite as it hurtled above the Pacific.

At an orbital speed of several miles per second, the tumbling sat was smashed to pieces by the impact. It seems that even the missile defence people were surprised at how thorough the pulverisation was.

"We thought there would be much larger pieces," said Hicks.

The SM-3 was designed to knock out ballistic missile warheads, and the admiral said that this would remain its purpose. The US has repeatedly said that it has no current ambitions towards a capability for attacking spacecraft.

Speaking of the intercept mission, in which US government resources from many departments were used to achieve the rendezvous of satellite and kill warhead, the admiral said:

"When you bring them together ... you can get a lot more value."

The cost of the satellite remains a secret, as does the precise nature of its mission and payload. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.