Ike vs. Katrina

by twit

UPDATE: Readers are encouraged to visit the Red Cross website to learn more about how they can help the survivors of Hurricane Ike.  This post has been updated to respect the magnitude of this disaster and the need for Americans to work together to respond to this crisis.

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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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