In a great testament to the fact that “Star Wars” does work, and that you can hit a bullet with a bullet, another Reagan legacy shone tonight. The US Navy successfully shot down the failed satellite this evening, preventing a potentially hazardous hydrazine contamination. More from CNN:
An inoperable U.S. spy satellite orbiting 150 miles above Earth was struck Wednesday by a missile fired from a U.S. Navy cruiser, military sources told CNN.
The Pentagon said the window of opportunity to strike the 5,000-pound satellite opened Wednesday, when the space shuttle Atlantis landed in Florida. The Pentagon wanted to be sure the shuttle would not be struck by any debris from a destroyed satellite.
But earlier the official said conditions had to be perfect, and that was not the case Wednesday with swells in the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii running slightly higher than Navy would like.
CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said six- to eight-foot swells were reported in the area through Wednesday night and were not expected to come down until Friday or Saturday.
The United States plans to spend up to $60 million to try to destroy the satellite even though there is only a remote possibility the satellite could fall to Earth, survive re-entry and spew toxic gas in a populated area, said James Jeffrey, deputy national security adviser.
More at Space Daily, from the “US bad, no matter what” angle.