Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bravo Zulu US Navy!

Congratulations to the United States Navy on the successful destruction of an out of control US spy satellite falling from orbit. Last evening, while most of us were watching a very cold moon turn red during a full lunar eclipse, the crew of the USS Lake Erie CG 70 fired a Standard Missile 3 at the errant satellite and struck it with "solid shot".

Videos of the encounter show the fireball-like explosion of the satellite and an apparent vapor cloud that resulted from the successful destruction of a tank of hydrazine, a very toxic substance used as fuel on board the unmanned satellite.

The Standard Missile 3 was loaded with an inert warhead -- that is, a non-explosive warhead or a "solid shot", which struck the missile and destroyed it.

The satellite was traveling faster than 17,000 miles per hour, a speed far faster than that at which inter continental ballistic missiles travel.

While the effort to destroy the satellite was clearly a protective measure taken to shield personnel on the ground from the hydrazine and from large pieces of the satellite, several foreign powers decried the shot as a "test" of the US space shield program. Test it likely was, but one spurred by the threat to people on the ground.

The pieces of the satellite after the explosion, as measured by radar, show them to be no larger than a football.


And so, to the crew of the USS Lake Erie CG 70, and to the US Navy in general, we say BRAVO ZULU! [Well Done!].


"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." -- President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious." --President George Washington

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