No More Hydrazine

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The Pentagon just put out a release saying "debris analysis" indicated the SM III hit on that wayard spy satellite had done its job...

"...officials are confident the missile intercept and destruction of a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite, achieved the objective of destroying the hydrazine tank and reducing, if not eliminating, the risk to people on Earth from the hazardous chemical.

"By all accounts this was a successful mission. From the debris analysis, we have a high degree of confidence the satellite's fuel tank was destroyed and the hydrazine has been dissipated," said Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Now, that's interesting...but...(queue up the conspiracy theory montage here...) I'm wondering A.) just how did they do a debris analysis when it either burned up in the atmosphere or is still floating in suborbital space, and B.) what exactly does "reducing, if not eliminating, the risk to people on Earth from the hazardous chemical" mean? It's either gone, or it's not gone...Which is it?

Anyway, I think this whole satellite shootdown was a high-profile test of the ABM architecture, and we'll have to wait and see when the brass starts to testify on Capitol Hill over next year's funding outlay for the Missile Defense Agency if they start using this "one off" event as a rallying cry for more ABM money.

-- Christian

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