Feeds

Pentagon says sat-smash smithereen cloud almost gone

Orbital turkey blitz 'added value', seemingly

The next step in data security

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
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'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.