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North Korea’s Teapodong-2 Unha Missile Launch: What might we learn?

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posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:35 AM
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WHile the sides are being drawn, threats tossed around on all sides, here is an informative sober analysis of what should be learned should the North Koreans go foreward with the launch.


www.fas.org

Indications are that North Korea is moving ahead with its planned launch of a missile with the intent of placing a satellite into orbit. The North Koreans are portraying the launch in purely innocuous, civilian terms even naming the rocket “Unha,” which means “Milky Way” in Korean, to emphasize its space-oriented function. In the West, the rocket is called the Taepodong-2 and is thought to be a long-range (but not truly intercontinental range) ballistic missile.
Even if the rocket launches a satellite, and recent news reports say the payload sections seems to be shaped and sized for a satellite, it would be an important step in their military ballistic missile program. In the early days of the Soviet and American space programs, there was little distinction between military and civilian rocket development and the same would be true of North Korea’s upcoming launch. What I want to discuss in this essay is the question of how much can the outside world learn if the North Korean test goes through, what does it tell us about their ballistic missile capability?




posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:38 AM
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Perhaps they (not likely) may be trying to take a step forward into the civilized world and have future plans of opening communication for their citizens.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by NateNute
 


Well that is what their stated intentions are, and the article does pay attention to this claim, the assessment is that the rocket would not be able to put the satellite into a high enough orbit for it to be an effective communications sat.

It is a lengthy piece but worth the read.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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This is a very informative article. Definetly worth the read, thanks for posting.
The article makes some really good points, specifically, that the N.K. are lying when they say that its a communications satelite i.e. the rocket they're about to test is unable to reach high enough orbit to be in a geosynchronous orbit that a communications satallite needs to be.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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reply to post by FunSized
 


Another interesting point in the article is the possibility of the US being able to shoot it down, which the article claims would only be possible in the final stages of flight, so it might be true that the Japanese and US readiness is to shoot down a failing launch of the rocket and not to intercept the rocket if it is functioning properly, the article makes it sound like that would not be possible.

I am definitely not an expert on rockets weapons systems obviously


Maybe some of the experts here can comment on the veracity of the information on the source article?



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 11:35 AM
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First of all, let me point this out which doesnt make sense at all to me.
NK is the one of the poorest countries in Asia so how did they get the money to fund this project??? Some other nation had to fund this project.

That, I do not understand at all...

Please explain.



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by JacKatMtn
Another interesting point in the article is the possibility of the US being able to shoot it down, which the article claims would only be possible in the final stages of flight, so it might be true that the Japanese and US readiness is to shoot down a failing launch of the rocket and not to intercept the rocket if it is functioning properly, the article makes it sound like that would not be possible.


The SM-3 was designed as a terminal phase defense system, but I BELIEVE that it could hit a missile in the boost phase. If they catch it in the first couple of minutes after launch it's still slow enough that an SM-3 should be able to hit it. It's kind of like throwing a rock in front of another rock as one is accelerating. If you can get the SM-3 in front of it at the right point then yes, you can kill it.



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) showed a 1.5 hr special of the missile this afternoon. It showed that they would use the SM3's from the Japanese destoyers if the missile showed any signs of malfunction or another path than a satellite launch path. The PAC3's deployed around Japan will only be used to catch any debris of the missile, as they can only reach 200 km's in altitude and are useless against a missle at a 10.000 km altitude.

[edit on 4-4-2009 by -Rugged Shark-]



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by -Rugged Shark-
 


The SM-3 was designed to intercept outside the atmosphere, so it has the altitude to reach it in all phases, the problem being that the missile they're trying to catch can just outrun it depending on when they launch.

The SM-3 is a much smaller missile, with a higher acceleration, but the missile they're trying to shoot down gains more speed on a longer run, and holds a lot more fuel. If the ships are in the right position, and launch soon enough, they can hit it during boost. If they wait too late, or are in the wrong position, then they're in a tail chase, and the SM-3 will lose.

[edit on 4/4/2009 by Zaphod58]



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