Thursday, February 14, 2008

Maintaining Anti-Satellite Missile Parity... or Not

President Bush has agreed to let the military shoot down the National Reconnaissance Office's unresponsive spy satellite, US-193 due to the threat of a 1000 lb hydrazine release on impact. The satellite will be shot down with a modified Navy launched SM-3/RIM-161 missile. According to the Reuters story, the US officials indicated that their intent was to eliminate hydrazine exposure and denied that this is being done to destroy the 2006 vintage satellite's various secrets or to demonstrate our capabilities in light of the Chinese anti-satellite brouhaha from last year. While this may be true, it sure seems like a convenient opportunity to accomplish exactly that which the Pentagon has denied.