10:49 PM

Plenty of Weirdness
Surrounding the Shootdown
of Satellite USA 193

Okay, call me crazy, but I have little faith in this far-fetched plan hatched by the United States Military to blast a broken spy satellite out of space in a couple of days. I sure hope the same folks who brought us the Katrina response, the mortgage meltdown and the endless Iraq war aren't the same people who are aiming at the defunct spy satellite.

Here is what CNN has reported:

The U.S. Navy will likely attempt to shoot down a faulty spy satellite Thursday, the day after the space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to land, two officials told CNN Monday. Because the 5,000-pound satellite malfunctioned immediately after launch in December 2006, it has a full tank of fuel. It would likely survive re-entry and disperse potentially deadly fumes over an area the size of two football fields, officials have said. The Navy plans to fire at the satellite as it enters Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 150 miles. The Missile Defense Agency estimated the cost of a sea-based attempted intercept at $40 million to $60 million.
An interesting twist has been spreading around the Internets today, talking about a NOTAM (unconfirmed) near Hawaii which might be close to the target zone. This is from various sources including this one:
An anonymous reader writes "Amateur satellite watcher Ted Molczan notes that a "Notice to Airmen" (NOTAM) has been issued announcing restricted airspace for February 21, between 02:30 and 05:00 UTC, in a region near Hawaii. Stricken satellite USA 193, which the US has announced plans to shoot down, will pass over this area at about 03:30. Interestingly, this is during the totality of Wednesday's lunar eclipse, which may or may not make debris easier to observe."
The conspiracy theorists are in hyper-drive on this one, and everything is being said about the "real reasons" President Bush wants to shoot down a spy satellite the size of a bus. But because "they" are watching me from the black helicopters hovering over my house, I cannot say what I think might be inside USA 193 that "they" don't want the world to see.

It will be interesting to see if the Navy scores a direct hit. One sidebar to a successful intercept would be a clear message sent to those people across the Pacific that makes all the plastic crap sold in our Big Box Stores...don't EVEN think about lobbing missiles at California, because we have perfected the technology to blast your pathetic excuse for a weapon out of the sky before it leaves Shanghai County.

Which may really be the reason "they" are shooting this thing down...so it had better work. There really is no debating this fact: The last thing our country's street cred needs around the world right now is the embarrassment that will come from missing.

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