Navy Ship Prepares to Shoot Down Spy Satellite

Attempt will be made Thursday from ship
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2008 3:48 AM CST
Navy Ship Prepares to Shoot Down Spy Satellite
Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright, center, flanked by Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey, left, and NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, gestures during a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008, to discuss the use of a Navy missile to attempt to destroy a...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The US Navy will attempt to shoot down a rogue American spy satellite Thursday, just days before it re-enters the earth's atmosphere, reports CNN. Officials plan to bring down the satellite from an Aegis cruiser at sea while it is still 150 miles above the earth, leaving enough time for a second attempt if the first one fails.   

The 5,000 pound spy satellite was launched in December 2006 but immediately malfunctioned.  It carries enough toxic fuel to pose a hazard if it crashes to earth. "If we miss, nothing changes. If we shoot and get a direct hit, that's a clean kill and we're in good shape," said a NASA administrator. (Read more spy satellite stories.)

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