US to shoot down failed satellite at 10:30pm ET tonight

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Thomas Ricker
February 20th, 2008
In this article: hyrdazine, satellite, spy
US to shoot down failed satellite at 10:30pm ET tonight

Oh boy, tonight's the night. According to CNN sources, the US Navy plans to shoot down that failed satellite at 2230 ET from a ship west of Hawaii. The idea is to get a shot off as early as possible in case a second or third attempt is required. The $10 million missile fired from the USS Lake Erie will not carry a warhead. Instead, the 22,000mph impact on the school-bus sized satellite combined with the exploding hydrazine fuel tank should blast the satellite into bite-sized chunks expected to burn up in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the timing of the launch -- 5:30pm locally -- means that our naked eyes won't likely be treated to much of a show. That's what observatories are for.

Update: The deed is now done.
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