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NY Times:

Pentagon Says It’s Confident Missile Hit Satellite Tank.  Okay, so I was wrong yesterday.  They’ve shown video.  My sincere apologies to the Pentagon.  I remain skeptical over the need for missile shootdown; I’m not buying the hydrazine fuel excuse. We’ve had two Shuttles disintegrate, countless other rockets explode in the atmosphere - all of which contained hydrazine - without a single similar concern.  I’ll wager in years after we’ll hear about nuclear fuel, experimental armaments, or very classified equipment.

Related: Times Opinionator has a different take.  The shootdown legitimizes missile defense in significant ways.

02/21/08 • 09:47 AM • CorrectionsEnvironmentalHistoryPoliticsScience • (2) Comments


A commenter raises a fantastic point:

“Why is this regarded as such a stunning success? The orbit of the satellite was absolutely predictable and plotted for days. Given the hoped-for sophistication of our missiles and tracking devices the news would have been if the shot had missed. This mission was nothing remotely like a surprise attack that includes multiple missiles and decoy warheads.”

Posted by Jeremiah on 02/21/08 at 02:51 PM

Not to mention the weather situation in the Pacific, which at various points Wednesday threatened to postpone the shot from the Aegis cruiser. But of course whomever lobs a nuke at us in the future would probably be sporting enough to wait until it stopped raining.

Basically, the number of variables tacked on to the successful shoot-down of a missile are orders of magnitude above what the Pentagon had to contend with in shooting down the dead satellite.

Posted by D. Aristophanes on 02/21/08 at 08:03 PM


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