Friday, February 15, 2008

Spy Eye in the Sky to Die

If you haven't heard yet, here's the deal: a week or so ago, it was announced that the spy satellite USA 193 is disabled and will come streaking down to earth in a fireball some time in March. Needless to say, that could be cool to see, but it could also be dangerous.

Now the twist: MSNBC reports that the pentagon is going to blast the satellite with a missile before it re-enters to "minimize the risk to humans from its toxic fuel". Really? The toxic fuel is the problem? It's not that they don't want the remains of advanced technology falling into the wrong hands? It's not that they want to show that China is not the only nation that can blow a satellite out of the sky?

It will be interesting to see the repercussions this has on US space policy. Weapons and space together in any form are generally seen as a bad thing, unless, apparently, there's a spy satellite full of toxic fuel.

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