Navy Succeeds In Intercepting Non-Functioning Satellite


Story Number: NNS080220-19Release Date: 2/20/2008 11:23:00 PM
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From the Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A network of land-, air-, sea- and spaced-based sensors confirms 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, Feb. 20, a U.S. Navy AEGIS warship, USS Lake Erie (CG-70), fired a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) hitting the satellite approximately 133 nautical miles over the Pacific Ocean as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. USS Decatur (DDG-73) and USS Russell (DDG-59) were also part of the task force.

The objective was to rupture the fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel which could be harmful, before it entered into earth's atmosphere. Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours.

Due to the relatively low altitude of the satellite at the time of the engagement, debris will begin to re-enter the earth's atmosphere immediately. Nearly all of the debris will burn up on reentry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days.

DoD will conduct a press briefing at 7 a.m. EST to provide further information related to the operation. The briefing can be viewed live on www.Defenselink.mil through the Pentagon Channel.

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RELATED PHOTOS
At a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), successfully impacting a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite.
080220-N-XXXXX-025 PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb 20, 2008) At a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), successfully impacting a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite approximately 247 kilometers (133 nautical miles) over the Pacific Ocean, as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. President George W. Bush decided to bring down the satellite because of the likelihood that the satellite could release hydrazine fuel upon impact, possibly in populated areas. U.S. Navy photo (Released)
February 21, 2008
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