Destruction of Spy Satellite
General Cartwright reported on the successful destruction of a non-functioning spy satellite. He showed videos of the interception and… read more
General Cartwright reported on the successful destruction of a non-functioning spy satellite. He showed videos of the interception and the satellite exploding. General Cartwright responded to questions from the reporters.
A network of sensors confirmed that the U.S. military intercepted a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite which was in its final orbits before entering the earth’s atmosphere. At approximately 10:26 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 20, 2008, a U.S. Navy AEGIS warship, the USS Lake Erie fired a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3, hitting the satellite approximately 247 kilometers over the Pacific Ocean as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. The objective was to rupture the fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel which could pose a danger to people on earth, before it entered into earth’s atmosphere. Due to the relatively low altitude of the satellite at the time of the engagement, debris would begin to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere immediately. Nearly all of the debris would burn up on re-entry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days.
A video clip of the interception was also shown at the beginning of the program. close
People in this video
- James E. Cartwright Vice Chair Joint Chiefs of Staff
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