Sunday, January 27, 2008

More Death From Above Expected

If you weren't already concerned about the large meteor, named ZG-7134 that is due to hit Earth on March 21, 2008 then here is something else for you.

A US spy satellite the size of a small bus and weighing about 20,000 pounds or 9,072kg has lost power and is expected to crash to Earth some time in late February or March.

Gordon Johndoe, of the US National Security Council said: " We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause, we would only try to destroy the satellite with a missile if we thought the level of collateral damage would not be at an acceptable rate to the public. "

The satellite contains the rocket fuel hydrazine. A colourless liquid with an ammonia-like odour, the fuel is a toxic chemical and can cause extreme harm to anyone who comes in contact with it.

The US government is keeping lawmakers and other countries abreast of the situation but the general public will not be informed to avoid unnecessary panic if it does fall in heavily populated areas as the panic would probably cause more deaths than the satellite itself.

John Pike, director of the defense research group, said:" An uncontrolled re-entry could risk exposure of US secrets. It could be potentially embarrassing if it fell in an unfriendly country. Not that there are many nations unfriendly to the United States, what is there not to love about the # one country in the world ?"

Expert, Jeffrey Richolson of the National Security Archive, said the satellite is probably a photo reconnaissance satellite and that this one died as long as a year ago and is just now getting ready to re-enter the atmosphere. " We have so many up there its hard to keep track, " he added.

In 2002, officials believe debris from a 7,000-pound or 3,175-kg science satellite hit the Earth's atmosphere. It rained down over the Persian Gulf, a few thousand miles from where they first predicted it would crash. Which is pretty good as calculating trajectories is not an exact science.

The largest uncontrolled re-entry by a US space agency (Nasa) craft was Skylab.

The 78-tonne abandoned space station fell from orbit in 1979. Its debris dropped harmlessly into the Indian Ocean and across a remote section of western Australia, the only fatalities were two Kangaroos .


Anonymous said...

Pity that the geniuses who approved these things going up didn't consider (or care!) about them going down. Turds!

A. Genius said...

There is no up or down in space no one could have seen this problem coming, its not like NASA employs rocket scientists.