U.S. Attempts to Shoot Down Satellite

February 15th, 2008
Bill Lazorik

The military will attempt to shoot down a spy satellite that is losing altitude and could possibly cause damage if it were to crash on land. An intercept missile will be fired from a Aegis cruiser as the satellite approaches the upper atmosphere. This will be the first time the U.S. has attempted to destroy a satellite and will be taking advantage of the missile defense program to accomplish the mission.  Though the missile defense system has shot down faster moving targets a successful hit would still be a valuable proof of concept for the program and prove the U.S. is capable of reaching satellites in orbit. The Chinese were able to destroy one of their weather satellites on the third try early last year. Not only did the test cause an international uproar, but it also littered Earth’s orbit with over 150,000 pieces of debris. The political outlook for the U.S. will be different considering the circumstances and the current plan to hit the satellite as it enters the atmosphere should cause any debris to burn up.

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