Bush, Coyote, SM-3, Space Station, Spy Satellite

Bad Idea Written All Over It

I read in the news that our illustrious president and his gang in DC have decided that one option for avoiding serious bodily injuries and/or deaths to others when their failed spy satellite falls to Earth is to shoot it to pieces with a Navy missile.

In the article there was this quote:

“David Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview Friday he would put the odds of a successful intercept at no better than 50 percent. And he expressed concern that debris from a successful strike could harm the other objects in relatively low orbit.”

Now, I’m no expert; but this plan, aside from Mr. Wright’s concern, has BAD IDEA written all over it. Of course, I don’t know much about the SM-3 missile. So, I decided to find some info on this bad boy…and what a boy this missile appears to be.

The SM-3 missile operates with a Hit-to-kill kinetic warhead. Sure, if you are a twisted joe like me you can’t help but think of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Bugs, armed with a hammer, takes a job in an artillery plant testing for “duds”. And if this missile does not successfully destroy the falling satellite what happens then? I’m no zero gravity expert. I spent most of my school days in various science classes daydreaming about all the smart brunette girls instead of paying attention; yes, this much is true. But if a missile with a hit-to-kill warhead misses its target and jetisons into space doesn’t it stand to reason that a live warhead will be out there floating around somewhere betweeen thousands of active satellites, a space station and the moon?

Or what happens if this missile falls back to Earth? Now we’ve not only got a satellite filled with a 1000lbs of dangerous rocket fuel but a live warhead following closely behind.

“Allow me to introduce myself, my name is mud.”
Wile E. Coyote
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