The US Navy launched a MODIFIED missle from the USS Lake Erie to destroy a defective spy satellite that was going to fall from orbit on March 6th 2008.
The rationale for this action was presumably to protect the public from any danger (a large tank of toxic Hydrazine). I’m glad to see that our defense department is protecting us but I have been “musing” over this story. The missle used was modified to reach the higher altitude of the satellite. Although we did tell the Chinese about the test, I think this is a not-so-subtle way to demonstrate to the world that we can knock out satellites if we want to. We squawked a bit when the Chinese shot down one of their satellites so I guess we had to prove we still have the “right stuff”. I’m guessing our GPS satellites are being targeted.
I’m glad we have the same (or a superior) level of technology as our potential adversaries, but I really do not want to see an arms race for the “High Frontier”.
We haven’t even cleaned up the mess of our nuclear arms race yet, with “loose nukes” and missing plutonium . Hopefully we’ll use our cleverness to tackle some of the other challenges that mankind faces.
Sigh, When will we ever learn?