Satellite Shot Destroyed Toxic Fuel

General: 'By all accounts this was a successful mission'
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 12:10 PM CST
Satellite Shot Destroyed Toxic Fuel
In this image provided by the US Navy a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie Wednesday Feb. 20, 2008, successfully impacting a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite approximately 247 kilometers (133 nautical miles)...   (Associated Press)

The missile fired at the errant spy satellite on Wednesday succeeded in destroying a tank full of toxic fuel, the Defense Department has concluded after analyzing the debris from the shootdown. The tank was said to have held 1,000 pounds of toxic hydrazine, which could have been released into the atmosphere as the satellite fell to Earth, the AP reports. "By all accounts this was a successful mission," Gen. James Cartwright said today.

"From the debris analysis, we have a high degree of confidence the satellite's fuel tank was destroyed and the hydrazine has been dissipated," Cartwright said. Pentagon officials said soon after the missile was launched that it appeared to hit the tank, but they waited for the results of further analysis before announcing for sure. (Read more satellite stories.)

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