US predicts 30-minute warning for satellite crash landing

by twit

LATEST UPDATE: Feb. 20, 2008: Lestro reports on new information about the plans to shoot the satellite down, including video of the satellite being shot down.

UPDATE: Via Reuters on Feb 15, 2008:

Ambassador Christina Rocca said that if efforts fail to strike the satellite with a missile while it is still in space, it was expected to make an “uncontrolled re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere on or about March 6”.

UPDATE: From MSNBC on Feb 14, 2008:

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon, under orders from President Bush, is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March, the White House said Thursday.

U.S. officials said that the option preferred by the administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth’s atmosphere.

… The military will have to choose a time and a location that will avoid to the greatest degree any damage to other satellites in the sky. Also, there is the possibility that large pieces could remain, and either stay in orbit where they can collide with other satellites or possibly fall to Earth.

… officials won’t have much detail on where or when it will crash until it begins to move through the atmosphere and break up.

Basically, if you see something like this in the sky during early March:

https://i1.wp.com/i.newsvine.com/_vine/images/ap/nws/50607ef3-9198-407e-9d3c-ad3388868d1d.jpg
(image via Newsvine)

You have about a half-hour to take cover.

Whether effective cover would be available if the US can’t destroy the fuel tank in advance of the crash seems like a reasonable question, at least based on this report from Boing Boing on Feb 14, 2008:

It contains 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel, which “could turn into a toxic gas capable of causing deaths and injuries if it crashed in a populated area.”

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there was a primary today?

by twit

via Wonkette, from the Orlando Sentinel on Jan 29, 2008:

On Florida Primary day, voters are reporting problems across Central Florida from Daytona Beach to Hunter’s Creek. Among the precincts experiencing glitches was one in Orange County where voters were told by poll workers early on there was no Democratic primary today.

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welcome to the future

by twit

um, it is snowing “freakishly” in China and signs of chaos are starting to show.

UPDATE: Via the BBC Feb 4, 2008:

https://i1.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44401000/jpg/_44401578_aaaaasnow_ap203.jpg

Snow storms that have stranded millions of Chinese travellers are a “severe disaster” that will continue for several days, top leaders have warned.

… more snow is expected and heavy fog has also hit central provinces, adding to transport woes.

On Monday, visibility was less than 100 metres (109 yards) in areas including Hunan and Hubei provinces, two of the areas worst hit by the snow, Xinhua news agency said.

About 1.3 million army troops and reservists have now been deployed to help the relief effort.

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Made in France – False Statements

by the squid

So finally, some poor graduate students were asked to over all the rhetoric leading up the the Iraq war. They found 935 false statements.

“The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.”

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