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::Implications of downing satalites::

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posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:14 PM
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How worried should we be about the latest deliberate destruction of a satellite?

It has been widely reported that the debris would jeopardize other operations in space - both current and future.

I'm no expert, but IMO things up there either find a stable orbit / return to earth (burning up preferably) or spin of into the unknown. The latter 2 I reckon would be the best result. Objects in a stable orbit would remain for years, presumably travelling like the proverbial 'speeding bullet.

Things have been up there for years, I think I can recall a Pentax camera or something lost on an early nasa mission being tracked for practice by boffins - what are the capabilities for tracking this sort of stuff??

A quick google search on tracking space junk will inform you that anything larger than a softball is tracked by NORAD, the data is looked at by NASA. But the article refers to the thousands of peaces up there - presumably before China's little manhood measuring exercise.

There is a lot of space up there, some day I want to take a trip up there (or my grandkids grandkids whatever) and I would not like my life cut short by a rogue microchip doin mach 10+!

Any ideas on this, if we start knocking out satellites could basically put the idea of meaningful space travel in the bin just cos it will be too dangerous to get through an ever increasing belt of crap left behind? Or not?


Edit to remove all caps in title.

[edit on 23-1-2007 by mrwupy]




posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:30 PM
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I think something far worse would be the loss of communications, which our military relies heavily on via sattelites. Also, GPS, which is used in many different types of warfare.

Its a fundamental offensive tactic in war to knock out communications. When that is accomplished, the war is over.

This is all, of course, assuming that sattelites are our main source of military communication. You have to entertain the idea that they may not be. Technology may have advanced beyond the need for it already, but thats just me speculating, considering the amount of stuff the military lies about anyways.....



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:35 PM
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Yeah, but as far as I know this is like only the 3rd satellite deliberately knocked out. This could just be the start, if debris of downed satellites knocks out another and another, then it doesn’t really matter whose they are. I'm guessing theres plenty of kit up there defunct or not.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by DjNothing
I think something far worse would be the loss of communications, which our military relies heavily on via sattelites. Also, GPS, which is used in many different types of warfare.

Its a fundamental offensive tactic in war to knock out communications. When that is accomplished, the war is over.

This is all, of course, assuming that sattelites are our main source of military communication. You have to entertain the idea that they may not be. Technology may have advanced beyond the need for it already, but thats just me speculating, considering the amount of stuff the military lies about anyways.....


As a member of the telecommunications industry, I can assure you that satellite communications are not the only means. And yes, technology has advanced in such a way that whenever we hear of something new, it's old to the powers that be.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 01:13 PM
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Ah, there's much better things to do than simply shredding someone's assets with a spaceborne shotgun.

For instance, you could quite easily knock out the solar cells, if that's what they're using for power. Not only are they fragile, they're subject to damage using fairly low powered laser shots.

In the last five years or so, we've been practicing doing unfriendly things in quite another way, and we've gotten quite good at it. To the point that the owners of the particular technique are getting some official complaints from our friends, and I suspect some of China's reasons for pushing the development of this are in response to our somewhat more technically elegant approach.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 05:56 PM
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Okay yeah, I bet there’s prob plenty of cool ways to knock em out.

But after all the trips into space we've done (don’t have a number but I bet it is not that many as yet) and ONLY 3 planned destructions of satellites as far as we know there is already a growing amount of crap hurtling in orbit, I reckon a lot of it is untrackable!

Will there be a point when more satellites are being knocked out unintentionally than intentionally?

How much stuff has to be up there to seriously affect things?



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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GPS and most communications/media satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, that means they are in a permanent belt some 22,000+ miles from the Earth's surface. They are too far away to be shot down via a ballistic missile or be threatened by any debris from this recent test. Since this test accrued in LEO some 500 miles above the earth the debris will eventfully fall back down to Earth and burn up, latest estimate I heard was around ~5 years. Anyway, LEO is becoming littered with debris but most of it can be tracked and you have to realize how big space is. Even if this recent test created a cloud of debris several square miles, it's still easy to track and navigate around it. And as I said most of this stuff will fall back down.

[edit on 24-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 06:24 PM
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GPS is not geosynchronous. If it were, you'd get the same sats on your display in the same positions every time. The GPS sats have an orbital time of something like 12 hours, more or less.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 06:34 PM
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You're right GPS satellites reside in MEO not in geosynchronous orbit, however still. Even here they are too far away to be successfully targeted by ballistic missiles fired from Earth and they are in very little risk from the debris created by this recent Chinese test.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 06:53 PM
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21st century flak...Hooray!!!



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
You're right GPS satellites reside in MEO not in geosynchronous orbit, however still. Even here they are too far away to be successfully targeted by ballistic missiles fired from Earth and they are in very little risk from the debris created by this recent Chinese test.


True. I think the Chinese device was more for LEO imaging sats.



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
You're right GPS satellites reside in MEO not in geosynchronous orbit, however still. Even here they are too far away to be successfully targeted by ballistic missiles fired from Earth and they are in very little risk from the debris created by this recent Chinese test.



GPS satellites are not too far to be targeted by ballistic missiles. How do you think they get to their orbit?


DA



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:24 PM
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That's different, by the time any ballistic missile or KE warhead reaches GPS orbit it will be nothing but a glide vehicle. Even a small change in GPS orbit or patter over that distance will be enough to suck it dry of fuel and make it un-maneuverable. It's not impossible, of course, but given the current enemy ICBM's they are relatively safe, for the moment.



posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
That's different, by the time any ballistic missile or KE warhead reaches GPS orbit it will be nothing but a glide vehicle. Even a small change in GPS orbit or patter over that distance will be enough to suck it dry of fuel and make it un-maneuverable. It's not impossible, of course, but given the current enemy ICBM's they are relatively safe, for the moment.



You are assuming things about the payload you probably shouldn't. They certainly aren't safe from a technological point of view. Their only real protection is that any effort to destroy them would trigger a response far out of proportion to the attack. GPS Sats are strategic assets.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 01:29 PM
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Yeah, BUT>.....

Thats assuming that we would be firing at the satellites from the ground.

More than likely, we would target them (or they would target ours) with weapons already in space. I personally guarantee that space is weaponized.



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 03:59 PM
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Good point, suppose if you got the maths perfect you could hit a target with a .22 air rifle fired in space. Good old Newton

Also a bit of info on space weaponisation! - don't worry too much yet tho!


[edit on 30-1-2007 by Now_Then]



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by DjNothing
I think something far worse would be the loss of communications, which our military relies heavily on via sattelites. Also, GPS, which is used in many different types of warfare.

Its a fundamental offensive tactic in war to knock out communications. When that is accomplished, the war is over.

This is all, of course, assuming that sattelites are our main source of military communication. You have to entertain the idea that they may not be. Technology may have advanced beyond the need for it already, but thats just me speculating, considering the amount of stuff the military lies about anyways.....


Reading TIME magazine, they have a wonderful article on our satalites and the new Chinese missle that can knock down, literally any one of our own satalites .. their missle struck at an orbit higher then our highest satalties.. which are all scientific in nature.. 500 miles above earth is our highest military satalite.. about 550 miles above earth is where the missle detonated. We have by far more communications satalites then any nation on earth combined 10 times over. China no doubt will make an arsenal.. not just one rocket.. hundreds.. thousands of them.. if war where to break out we have no known or disclosed way of preventing a orbit bound rocket from stricking a satalite. It hopefully though will take out of question American goals to one day put nuclear warheads on orbiting satalites...

If our communication sats go.. we loose internet (no ats
) we loose phone service.. cell phone.. military communication.. navigation.. GPS.. TV .. no communication for resources means no power as well.. food stops shipping.. economy crashes.. I would bet the American governments retaliation would be nuclear.



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