Thursday, February 14, 2008


It was announced today that the Bush White House has approved a plan to use three naval surface-to-air missiles to shoot down an ailing military satellite. The satellite, variously described as being "twenty-five hundred pounds," "five thousand pounds," and "the size of a school bus" (pick the one you like, I guess) was launched two years ago but was not able to be positioned in a stable orbit and is going to re-enter the atmosphere and be destroyed naturally anyway.

Government spokesmen have explained that the satellite needs to be destroyed because it has a couple of small tanks of hydrazine, a volatile hypergolic rocket fuel, which could adversely affect people "within a football-field sized area" surrounding the canisters, if they were to land in a populated area.

Bullshit. That is a lie.

Point 1: The surface of the Earth is almost three-quarters water. Only about five percent of the land area of the Earth is populated. That means that there is less than a one-fifth of one percent chance of the satellite debris landing in a populated area. Even if it did, all this for an area the size of a football field? We have far larger toxic issues in this country on a daily basis. Why the exception for this tiny concern?

Point 2: Left to its own, the satellite would re-enter Earth's atmosphere at well over fifteen thousand miles per hour. It is not designed to re-enter, it is not aerodynamic nor does it have any heat shielding. The satellite would burn up and break into thousands of pieces upon re-entry like the several other old satellites that fall back to Earth every year with no incident. The tiny handful of times that man-made space debris has been found on Earth are so exceptional that stories get written about them in astronomy magazines. The likelihood that any of this one would be found or even make it to Earth is exceptionally slim. The military space command knows this, as does NASA. Why is the government being untruthful about this?

Point 3: What goes up comes down. By launching three missiles WITH EXPLOSIVE WARHEADS into space, even if they succeed there are now whatever remains of four large objects that will be randomly returning to Earth, with three of these objects bearing large amounts of powerful explosives. That is certainly not an improvement, so why is the government omitting this fact?

Point 4: What if they actually do hit the satellite and destroy it? The plan is to blow it up so that only small pieces fall into the atmosphere with the likelihood that they will burn up before they even got a hundred miles above the surface. However, if they blow it up, pieces go flying off in all directions and they will be showering low-Earth orbit, the exact zone in which the International Space Station, the Space Transportation System or "Space Shuttle" and future orbital spacecraft will be working, with thousands of pieces of debris. According to NASA, the biggest single danger the shuttle faces in orbit is non-trackable pinhead-sized flecks of paint and metal filings and other assorted debris from previous launches that can collide with the shuttle at over twenty thousand miles per hour. A grain of sand moving twenty thousand miles per hour has the same kind of kinetic energy as a bowling ball going two hundred miles per hour. The effects of such an impact on a craft as fragile as the shuttle would be instantly catastrophic. There are at the present time around twenty thousand pieces of TRACKABLE man-made items in space ranging from the Hubble Space Telescope to lost gloves, space wrenches, nuts and bolts, and all of the other detritus that is the mark of human habitation through history. Blowing up a satellite and possibly exploding as many as three missiles would exponentially multiply the number of objects in orbit and could make future space exploration far more hazardous than it is now. Once again, the space agencies know this and have certainly explained it to the military. Why is the government going ahead with such a dangerous plan?

This is not being done to protect life on the Earth's surface. It is being done to open the door to pursue needless, certain-to-fail missile "defense" systems that would funnel even larger amounts of tax revenues to defense corporations who pay vast sums of money in order to influence government to create business opportunities for them that serve the country badly.

George W. Bush is a lying piece of shit, and I hope I live to see him tried, convicted, and imprisoned, if not hanged, for treasonously defrauding and endangering the American people.

UPDATE: Wow! Welcome to Southern Beale's readers, and thanks for the link!


Blogger Southern Beale said...

Thanks, I suspected this was bullshit, and I'm not a rocket scientist.

I REALLY would like to hear from NASA on this plan and the risks you outline.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Serr8d said...

The BDS is strong in this one...

9:55 PM  
Blogger Milo Johnson said...

Yeah, the usual whine of the self-deluded. Why don't you address the facts? Is it possibly because in addition to being oblivious to reality, you are scientifically illiterate?

10:17 PM  
Blogger Serr8d said...

I did, azzhole.

6:50 AM  
Blogger Southern Beale said...

Apparently my link came with trolls. Sorry, Milo!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Serr8d said...

Apparently my link came with trolls.

Thus spake the Mistress of Trolldom...

7:49 AM  
Blogger Milo Johnson said...

Actually, you didn't do anything to rebut the scientific facts. You provided quotes from a Bush bureaucrat with no known scientific credentials. Also, you are wrong. If anybody else proposed this plan I would be equally aghast at their stupidity. The simple fact is I'm a lot more qualified to express an opinion than you are, so why don't you crawl back up your own ass?

11:18 AM  
Blogger Ronni said...

NPR said that there was some classified stuff on it that the gubmint didn't want in unfriendly (read: other) hands.

I think it's a demonstration of our shoot-down capabilities.

8:17 AM  

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