Thursday, February 21, 2008

Direct Hit!

The Navy's Space Battleship USS Lake Erie performed a milestone in USN history by destroying an object 153 miles up. Story from American Forces Press:

At approximately 10:26 p.m. EST today, a U.S. Navy AEGIS warship,
the USS Lake Erie (CG-70), fired a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3
(SM-3) hitting the satellite approximately 153 miles (133 nautical
miles) over the Pacific Ocean as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph.
USS Decatur (DDG-73) and USS Russell (DDG-59) were also part of the task force.
The objective was to rupture the fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000
pounds (453 kg) of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel which could pose a danger to
people on earth, before it entered into earth's atmosphere. Confirmation that
the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours. Due to
the relatively low altitude of the satellite at the time of the engagement,
debris will begin to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere immediately. Nearly all of
the debris will burn up on reentry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris
should re-enter within 40 days.

Not bad for a 15 year old warship! Below is the Pentagon Channel video:

Awesome! Well done Navy.
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