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Hullabaloo


Friday, February 15, 2008

 
Plot From An 80s Film

by dday

In a world, where a runaway satellite is hurtling toward Earth, one man has one shot at history. Trapped between deceit and desire, can he realize his dream, or spawn a nightmare?

The military will try to shoot down a crippled spy satellite in the next two weeks, senior officials said Thursday. The officials laid out a high-tech plan to intercept the satellite over the Pacific just before it tumbles uncontrollably to Earth carrying toxic fuel.


He's been preparing all his life for one moment... or has the moment been preparing for him? And what does that exactly mean?

The three-ship convoy assigned to the new task will stalk the satellite’s orbital path across the northern Pacific, tracking the satellite as it circles the globe 16 times a day. The sensors and weapons in the operation, modified from antiaircraft defenses for use as a shield against incoming missiles and installed on Navy cruisers, have been used just in carefully controlled tests.

This time, the target is not an incoming warhead or a dummy test target, but a doomed experimental satellite the size of a school bus and weighing 5,000 pounds. It died shortly after being launched in December 2006 and contains a half-ton of hydrazine, a fuel that officials said could burn the lungs and even be deadly in extended doses.


Will they reach their goal... of previewing a ballistic missile system that's never worked in any meaningful test in the hopes that Congress can continue to put billions and billions of dollars into a needless boondoggle?

The effort will be a real-world test of the nation’s antiballistic missile systems and its antisatellite abilities, even though the Pentagon said it was not using the effort to test its most exotic weapons or send a message to any adversaries [...]

In many ways, the task resembles shooting down an intercontinental nuclear missile, although this target is larger, its path is better known and, if a first shot misses, it will continue to circle the Earth for long enough to allow a second or even a third try.


And can they save the planet... from exposing spy secrets to other countries...

President Bush ordered the action to prevent any possible contamination from the hazardous rocket fuel on board, and not out of any concern that parts of the spacecraft might survive and reveal its secrets, the officials said.


Suddenly, this isn't sounding like such a noble, heroic effort...

But dammit, it's important!


“This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings,” said James F. Jeffrey, deputy national security adviser.


This summer, or actually in two weeks but it sounds more dramatic if you say "This summer," strap yourself in for a non-stop thrill ride that will blow you out of the back wall of the theater... or at least, if you suspend your disbelief, will make you forget that missile defense is both useless and unnecessarily provoking Russia into a resumption of the Cold War...

Satellite. A shot into the Heavens is all that can save us from hell.

Rated R.


UPDATE: Ok, this might be turning into a romantic comedy with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson:

The Pentagon says it has to shoot down a malfunctioning spy satellite because of the threat of a toxic gas cloud. Space security experts are calling the rationale "comedic gold." [...]

Even if the hydrazine were released, he noted, the effects would likely be mild -- akin to chlorine gas poisoning, which can cause burning in the lungs, and elsewhere. The area affected would be "roughly the size of two football fields [where you might] incur something that would make you go to the doctor."


This... summer?


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