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spy sat going to fall from the sky... yikes

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by jhillestad, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. jhillestad

    jhillestad Godfather

    Jan 13, 2007
    As long as it is not the new DTV mpeg4 bird all is well.... whew!


    WASHINGTON (AP) -- A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and propulsion and could hit the Earth in late February or March, government officials said Saturday.

    A senior government official says lawmakers and other nations are being kept apprised of the situation.

    The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.

    "Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

    "Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause."

    He would not comment on whether it is possible for the satellite to be perhaps shot down by a missile. He said it would be inappropriate to discuss any specifics at this time.

    A senior government official said that lawmakers and other nations are being kept apprised of the situation.

    The largest uncontrolled re-entry by a NASA spacecraft was Skylab, the 78-ton abandoned space station that fell from orbit in 1979. Its debris dropped harmlessly into the Indian Ocean and across a remote section of western Australia.

    In 2000, NASA engineers successfully directed a safe de-orbit of the 17-ton Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, using rockets aboard the satellite to bring it down in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.

    In 2002, officials believe debris from a 7,000-pound science satellite smacked into the Earth's atmosphere and rained down over the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles from where they first predicted it would plummet.
  2. markrubi

    markrubi Icon

    Oct 12, 2006
    Well this is a perfect opportunity for China to step in and redeem themselves. Use that laser to blast it apart before it gets any lower in orbit. It probaby can't be tracked, but maybe so. I don't know. If it can be then light it up. They owe us from all the recalled crap (read lead) they send us.
  3. yyyiiikes

    yyyiiikes Mentor

    Dec 28, 2007
    Unless the debris hits your dish. :D
  4. shedberg

    shedberg Icon

    Jan 20, 2007
    Doesn't it make anyone a bit leary thet someone "leaked" classified information to the public?
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