Monday, February 18, 2008

we're gonna blowds up a satellite with missiles

My space geek self is stoked we're going to try to blow up a rogue spy satellite with missiles: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/02/14/spy.satellite/. CNN concludes the article with an account of China's botched attempt to destroy a satellite with a missile:

In January 2007, China used a land-based missile to destroy a 2,200-pound satellite that was orbiting 528 miles above Earth. But the impact left more than 150,000 pieces of debris floating above Earth, NASA estimates. The space agency characterizes nearly 2,600 pieces as "large," meaning greater than 4 inches across, which pose a potential threat to satellites and spacecraft. China is responsible for 42 percent of all satellite debris in orbit as of January 1, most of it from that Fengyun-C meteorological satellite.

NASA has called it the worst satellite breakup in history.
"Worst satellite breakup in history" is not entirely true. I found a transcript of the ACTUAL worst satellite breakup in history.
Zenit-4MKM: We don't talk anymore, not like we used to.

KITSAT: I'm a 1971 communications satellite: I'm broken.

Zenit-4MKM: When I ask how your day was, does it always have to be "fine?" Does everything always have to be just...fine?

KITSAT: I'm SORRY if I've run out of creative ways to say "I orbited Earth for the millionth goddamn time!"

Zenit-4MKM: You're shouting again.

KITSAT: 'Cause you're deaf.

Zenit-4MKM: Ooooh! You burn me up!

KITSAT: You know what burns me up? Those globs of toothpaste you leave in the sink. I invite ESRO 1A over for beers and scrambling DirecTV signals, and I gotta scrape your green Aquafresh turds out of the sink with toilet paper so I'm not embarrassed we live like slobs.

Zenit-4MKM: I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO TALK TO YOU!

KITSAT: Yeah, who's shouting now.

Zenit-4MKM: Are you trying to make me cry?

KITSAT: I think we're through. We should break up.

Zenit-4MKM: Fine. It's over. Goodbye.

(pause)

KITSAT: Stop following me!

Zenit-4MKM: I'M IN ORBIT BEHIND YOU! IT'S PHYSICS! JESUS!