Video of Spy Satellite Getting Shot Down

Watch as General Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and apparently Jack Bauer's older brother) shows how the Lockheed Martin's Aegis missile launches and successfully destroys the rogue spy satellite. This is a huge success for the Pentagon and the anti-missiles system that was first conceived in the mid-80s as part of President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Specially after many critics were saying it wasn't going to work.

The mission was simple. At 10:26PM EST, a standard missile 3 carrying a kinetic warhead was launched northwest of Hawaii from the USS Lake Eire, a Ticonderoga Class missile defense cruiser. 24 minutes later, at 10:50, the Joint Space Operations Center at the Vandenberg Air Force base confirmed the breakup of the satellite at 153 nautical miles above the Earth from a direct hit.

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While they can't confirm completely the destruction of the tank, which was needed to release the toxic fuel that may have posed a danger to us Earthlings, the Pentagon has declared the mission a complete success and with good reason. Some experts criticized the plan as probable failure during the past days, with the argument that the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System being developed by the US Missile Defense Agency, wasn't designed to do this and, therefore, it wasn't going to be able to hit the target and destroy it effectively.

Their reasons were three: first, the kinetic warhead, launched in a long range standard missile 3, a isn't designed to destroy targets by explosion but by the sheer force of multiple impacts. While this is enough to destroy other incoming missiles, the critics said that this wasn't going to be enough to destroy the much larger satellite. Second was the speed of the target, which was traveling at double the speed of the missiles which are the usual target of the Aegis. And third, the tracking system, which wasn't originally designed to operate in high orbits.

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The video, however, shows that the direct kinetic hit has completely obliterated its target. Now the world can rest at peace. Until A542B, that asteroid ten times bigger than Texas, finally arrives. [Wikipedia, Defense Tech Org and BBC]

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DISCUSSION

This is not a test of SDI. SDI never worked. It still doesn't work, unless the target has some kind of identifying signal. There is no magic, there is no peace shield. Even if you took the advertised claims of SDI at their word — being able to knock out 99% of missiles — the effect of a coordinated launch estimated at about 250 missiles would leave at least two untouched. With each missile having multiple warheads, that means dozens of cities would vaporise. Is that better than hundreds of cities? Perhaps. Still, SDI doesn't work. There is no magic. There is no peace shield.