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originally posted by: symphonyofblase
So norad decided to create gigantic helium filled tethered balloons, and cram them full of state of the art radar and surveillance systems worth $180 million?
But then, when they were debating whether or not to spend a little extra to make these blimps remote controllable in case of tether failure, they just went - "nahhhh she'll be right"?
Either that or the thought never occurred to them. I don't know which scenario is worse.
Those of you who think these are wastes of $ are invited to suggest cheaper/better radar platforms. You know, to keep us safe from missiles and rogue aircraft and stuff like that there.
Each aerostat was equipped with an automatic deflation system to bring the giant floating sensor to the ground quickly in the event of a cable break. But the system's batteries had not been installed at the time of the accident, so the system failed to activate when main power was lost.
The report, a summary of which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times, found that "design, human, and procedural issues all contributed" to the aerostat breaking loose, disrupting air traffic and causing jets to be scrambled to track its progress. When it finally came down 160 miles north in Moreland Township, Pennsylvania, the Army had state police bring it down the rest of the way with approximately 100 shotgun blasts. At the time, authorities believed they had no other way under the circumstances to deflate it.