President Bush has approved a plan by the Pentagon to use a Navy missile to shoot down the defunct spy satellite that has been falling from orbit since late January. Originally, the National Security Council considered letting the satellite re-enter the earth’s atmosphere on its own accord, betting on the fact that whatever small chunks weren’t burnt to a crisp would land harmlessly in an ocean or unpopulated area. Turns out, they don’t want to take that chance. “This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings,” Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey said in an AP story. I’d bet that its also about the fact that this is a spy satellite after all, and they can’t have that top-secret equipment, no matter how crispy, fall into the wrong hands.
No specific date has been set, yet it is probable that the window of opportunity to blast the satellite before it enters the atmosphere will be within the next two weeks. My hope is that they will let us know when to expect the “PEW! PEW! PEW!” action so we can all grab our lawn chairs and enjoy the fireworks.
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