When you bring them together...
...the rendezvous of satellite and kill warhead, the admiral said:
"When you bring them together ... you can get a lot more value."
Satellite + kill warhead = $$$ (or £££, or €€€...)
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 …
No more of these please never mind how much the wretched satellite cost much less the missile and kill vehicle you have to be a government employee to think anything about this operation was value for money. It hasn't engendered any new international conflicts, and no one was killed thats still not value for money. I know picky-picky but it's a high risk activity with no room for errors.
Looks to me like the US has the capability to destroy spacecraft, even if it's low altitude. Oh, and by the way, how does it make more sense to break up toxic chemicals in the atmosphere vs. a restricted area on the ground? Seems to me this exercise risked spreading the satellite and it's cargo over an area of miles, not the two football fields expected by a direct impact.
Minor correction (or additon if you like).
In sailing-ship naval warfare, the admiral commanding the fleet would be onboard the lead ship in the engagement, with the fleet strung out in line behind him. As the two hostile fleets pass one another, they fire off their cannon, of course. When the two fleets have passed beyond engagement range, each individual ship comes about, reversing the order of the ships in line, and the rear admiral (formerly on the rearmost ship, which has now become the lead ship) commands the fleet during this pass.
So a Rear Admiral is the fleet's second-in-command when they're sailing "forward," and the fleet's battle commander when they're sailing back the other way.
Mine's the one with "pedant" emblazoned across the back...
"""Seems to me this exercise risked spreading the satellite and it's cargo over an area of miles"""
I don't think you have a good handle on the altitude here. Even if there were larger pieces of the sat left, they'd still be in orbit for a while, since this thing is more or less still in space. There would be virtually no way that the fuel tank wasn't damaged, so you're guaranteed to have all the toxic chemicals boil off during the heated part of falling to earth. That doesn't mean they're spread over miles, it means that they're soaked up my millions of cubic kilometers of atmosphere, most of which is still at an incredably high altitude.
Essentially nothing that you do at the edge of space translates into 'an area of miles' because there is so much more orbit and atmosphere between your target and the ground. If you were shooting down an airplane, then maybe, but this is space, which is really really high up there. The biggest thing to worry about was probably just missing.
Sean, you ask, "Oh, and by the way, how does it make more sense to break up toxic chemicals in the atmosphere vs. a restricted area on the ground?"
Breaking it up in a location you determine is preferred over letting it land where it may and cleaning it up. If the sat had come down in a populated area, it would have done so with little warning, and the hydrazine, contained in a tank that might have survived reentry, could have poisoned a significant number of people. Bursting it high up in the atmosphere allowed it to disperse to safe concentrations, or maybe even be broken down into its chemical components by unfiltered sunlight, before hitting the surface in a location of the US Gov's choosing, in this case, well out to sea.
Skull and bones for poisonous content. Or perhaps I should have gone with the black helo for US Gov conspiracy to put some fish at risk?
"The U.S. has just demonstrated that it can knock out anything in orbit from a ship fired weapon, at will".
Shoot the moon!..
Also, I significantly remember concerns about the first attempt due to bad weather from the launch site. So, yes, the U.S. can indeed knock out anything in orbit from a ship fired weapon, so long as it's a nice pleasant day, and it's smaller than the moon. Those evil spysats are fine so long as they get a helping hand from inclement weather conditions...
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