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Bush to blast toxic slushie out of sky

13

Posts

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Again, to chime in with my limited thermodynamics knowledge, the longevity of a frozen gas scales exponentially -- not linearly -- with volume.

    440lbs of hydrazine (though like you said, that is the most conservative estimate) could be a very different beast than 1000lbs. I would go hash out some more detailed analysis but it really has been ages since I took thermo and I'm sure such scientific appraisal has already been handled -- it's high-school level science.

    EDIT I'm assuming surface area is staying mostly the same between these examples -- if the density of hydrazine is really low, then it would have a larger exposed surface area and the exponential scaling might be practically linear anyway.

    words
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The problem isn't "will the frozen gas reach ground" it is "will it reach ground in a manner sufficient to give a damn about". If it landed in, say, New York City...it'd suck, but I doubt you'd see many deaths from it. And NYC is one tiny-ass target.

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    I think the real issue here is that, like the article states, they have a brief launch window for this type of missile and it's a very long time before the natural crash would likely be.

    Were the window of opportunity nearer the actual reentry, they would be able to more accurately predict where it would fall -- and really, they would be able to predict it within a large enough radius that unless it was a superurban area they would be able to handle it on-site. I'm more interested in the latter, really; I see the possible applications of being able to shoot something down in orbit, but I'm more interested in the ground ops angle of containment and capture.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Which also means that if the missile doesn't kill it, it could push the thing onto a MORE dangerous orbit.

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    The article is telling the unabashed truth when it says that any sort of impact will pretty much obliterate it ... like someone said already, the inertia is conserved and even if the satellite remained 100% intact I can't imagine the angle of attack would be anything less than acute enough to remove it from the interior orbits where satellite traffic is conducted, if not out of the orbitals entirely.

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I was thinking "sat was due to hit ocean, now lands on NYC" kind of dangerous. :P Given that they're planning for a possible second shot even it if hits...I wouldn't count on the gonna-be-vaporized angle.

  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Which also means that if the missile doesn't kill it, it could push the thing onto a MORE dangerous orbit.

    What the hell is a "more dangerous" orbit? It's coming down out of the sky no matter what.

    edit: Oh. Well, right now it's slated to potentially land in North America. You can't get any more dangerous because there is no way to pinpoint an exact location. That's why it's so dangerous.

    Also, their not considering hitting it with two missiles. Pay attention - they're considering firing a second missile if the first one misses.

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    I think, really, the larger crime here is that an opportunity to bring space back into the public consciousness is going to go to waste because it's being interpreted solely as a military venture. Taking real-world examples like this into the classroom would be a great way to introduce astrophysics -- once you get over the non-Euclidean hump, it's really a very exciting but also fairly mundane world.

    If you can make space less scary to the average person, less of a far-away and impenetrable darkness, you can sell the careers and the funding and everything else much more easily. I would love to see the mission coordinators come forward and explain in some detail how they go about planning something like this; make it an educational effort as well as a military one.

    That's why I would be more interested in the ground ops, too -- it seems more applicable, and like it would create a better public face for the space program because it seems like more of a practical skill that we're invested in.

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  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Ground ops don't create a very good public face for the Space Administration if they're cleaning up a crash site in Hazard Suits in the middle of a city. This is yet another reason why it's imporant to take the satellite apart in orbit.

    edit: I see where you're coming from, though, and I also feel that the average person should have a higher understanding of what actually goes on concerning launching machines and people into space. It's the main reason behind the NASA project that was mentioned in G&T.

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    No ... it would create a good face if done right. o_O

    If they have a quick, safe, and responsible response it can be wonderful. They get to show how they can protect the public. You're being unbelievably pessimistic, defeatist, and apocalyptic about this entire issue. I know that as Americans we're used to botched federal interventions and cleanup operations, but I'm suggesting that a well put-together one could impress the public and make them feel that it was a more hands-on administration, more pertinent to their lives than they previously thought.

    words
  • IriahIriah Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm all for this if it means New York is steamrolled by an angry sea monster.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Oboro has a good point. If they released all the specs on the sattelite (not the government secret shit, just the mass/velocity/etc info) and a quick mock-up computer simulation of the whole situation to government classrooms, they could not only win a PR recovery, but turn it into a shared learning experience for high school students across the country. If the launch were advertised and televised, they could get some national excitement up by saying, "Look, see this cool stuff we're doing for the greater good? It's awesome!"

    Sadly, education is the very last thing Bush ever thinks about, so the moment will be wasted. I'm guessing that it'll come across like cock-waving to folks overseas, and everyone will forget about it quickly unless something goes wrong.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    Also, their not considering hitting it with two missiles. Pay attention - they're considering firing a second missile if the first one misses.

    Hi, how about you pay attention. From the second article:
    If the missile strike leads to such a disintegration, sharp observers should be able to spot the ice fragments from the fuel tank. As the fragments evaporate in direct sunlight, they could create mini-comets visible from Earth’s surface, lasting for hours before dispersing.

    Pentagon officials said the intercept would occur within range of military optical and radar sensors. Their goal would be to confirm the existence of dispersed hydrazine in the debris. If the sensors don't show the fuel dispersing, missile operators would target the fragment judged most likely to be the still-surviving fuel tank. A second shot could occur within a day or two of the first.

    I even highlighted the important bits for you. :P

    And once again, NA is a BIG target.

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Einhander wrote: »
    Also, their not considering hitting it with two missiles. Pay attention - they're considering firing a second missile if the first one misses.

    Hi, how about you pay attention. From the second article:
    If the missile strike leads to such a disintegration, sharp observers should be able to spot the ice fragments from the fuel tank. As the fragments evaporate in direct sunlight, they could create mini-comets visible from Earth’s surface, lasting for hours before dispersing.

    Pentagon officials said the intercept would occur within range of military optical and radar sensors. Their goal would be to confirm the existence of dispersed hydrazine in the debris. If the sensors don't show the fuel dispersing, missile operators would target the fragment judged most likely to be the still-surviving fuel tank. A second shot could occur within a day or two of the first.

    I even highlighted the important bits for you. :P

    And once again, NA is a BIG target.

    You.. you just proved his point. If they miss the tank the first time, they'll fire at the seperated tank. The target the first time around IS the tank itself.

  • clubclubclubclubclubclub __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    "Several hundred kilograms" is hardly a little bit, Einhander. Oh, and 200kg- the lowest number I'd expect to see called "several hundred" is 440 pounds. That's not THAT far off.

    EDIT: I'd actually wager that the chances of the missile exploding on launch and killing someone are higher than the chances of the ignored satellite coming down and killing someone. :P

    The chances of the debris killing an astronaut is higher than the chance of anyone on the ground being killed. Plus if someone on the ground was about to be killed by the satellite, they could just move the hell out of the way.

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Move . . . out of the way?

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Why must someone with such a beautiful name be so silly. T_T

    words
  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    Shinto wrote: »
    Move . . . out of the way?

    I know! This is what I'm talking about!

  • clubclubclubclubclubclub __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    It was sarcasm guys

  • OboroOboro __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hypothetically, if this were to hit in a densely populated area like NYC, the potential damage from just the object is what worries me.

    Imagine a 2,500 hunk of metal moving at max velocity hitting a skyscraper full of people. The skyscraper probably wouldn't stop it. Meaning it's going to plow through everything until it hits the ground. That's no good.

    Then of course there's the hydrazine.

    I should also insert the obligatory Team America joke:

    "By God... it'll be 9/11 times a thousand!"

    Again, tiny tiny chance of this happening, but its probably not worth the risk.

    TiSBcast.com - Home of This is Serious Business, a weekly roundtable podcast involving media, beer, and general merriment.
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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    Also, I'm glad the "Comedy Gold" article was linked again, because it's pure bullshit. You've got nameless "Space Security Experts" running conspiracy theories. And while no one on record has ever been killed by falling space debris, that doesn't mean that a 2,500lb potentially toxic chunk of burning metal is any less of a threat. Satellites fall to Earth all the time, but they don't fall to Earth on a full tank.

    Ok, no. That blog is quite reputable, and they dont just make shit up from random people.

    I'm not sure if its getting through to you here just how unlikely this thing causing damage actually is. As has been mentioned, not a single person, ever, has been hit by a piece of space debris. This is despite a fair amount of it coming down each year. The odds of someone being hit by a meteor are many order of magnitude larger, and meteors have killed, a couple? Maybe?

    You're going on a huge rant, but you're vastly overstating the risk here. Absolute worst case scenario, this thing hits a city, with its tank of hydrazine intact. Impossibly unlikely, but lets go with it. 2500 pounds of stuff hits the ground going a few hundred kph. I'd like to point out that while this might sound like a big number, it is in fact very tiny. If it were all in one big chunk (it wouldn't be) then it would be like a truck falling from the sky. This would hit a road or building most likely, killing a couple people if there happen to be people directly under it when it fell.

    Now, there is no way something like this would come down in one big chunk, it wold be spread out over an area. How big an area? Well, it d epends on all sorts of junk. Lets take a few examples here. Say it spreads out over 1 square km. 2500lbs = 1125kg. Over a million square meters, you get a mass of a little over a gram per square meter. Which is nothing, it would be less than rain. Lets take a smaller area, say 100m x 100m. Then you get around 100 grams of stuff per square meter. Enough to poke some holes in anyone unlucky enough to be under it, but most of it would fall on buildings or cars, and would just bounce off.

    Basically, if your inside your probably fine, unless a huge chunk comes down right on your head. And that hydrazine?
    But, as we noted yesterday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Gen. James Cartwright cast the threat from the satellite in much less dire terms. Even if the hydrazine were released, he noted, the effects would likely be mild -- akin to chlorine gas poisoning, which can cause burning in the lungs, and elsewhere. The area affected would be "roughly the size of two football fields [where you might] incur something that would make you go to the doctor."

    So if someone happened to be right next to the full tank of hydrazine that hit the ground might next to them, breathing would suck and they'd have to go to the hospital. The chemical properties of hydrazine have already been discussed in this thread; its not going to stick around and form this huge toxic, deadly cloud. Quite the opposite.

    Now, this is the worst case scenario, hitting downtown somewhere, it could kill, 20 people maybe? This is if pretty well every chunk takes out a person, which is not going to happen, and if the object itself manages to actually hit a town, which is also not going to happen.

    Just saying "it might happen!" doesn't really do anything for me, since the odds are so rediculously against it as to make it an impossibility.

    ragesig.jpg

  • CentoniasCentonias Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The Aegis system is a proven system. The navy has operated it with outstanding success for many years.
    There is no need to worry about bits'n'peices remaining to re-enter after a hit from a Ticonderoga.

  • MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    err, except no one got at all up in arms about the 100 or so satellites that crashed or were intentionally destroyed by forcing them to splash down last year, or the 300 or so over the past 5 years. I think this is pretty transparently geo-political dick waving: we're saying to China - 'psh, you call that an anti-satellite missile? check THIS out!'

    Even if you guys are right and this is some kind of imminent danger, you should be more worried about the fact that we only have like 23 SM3 missiles, so what are we going to do about all the runaway satellites in the future?

    Basically, there's no way we would waste a multimillion dollar piece of equipment of which we have less than 2 dozen based on the VANISHINGLY small chance that someone could be injured. I don't think it's a big conspiracy either, I really think this is just us thumbing our nose at the Chinese for doing the same thing.

    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
  • CentoniasCentonias Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I really think this is just us thumbing our nose at the Chinese for doing the same thing.

    This would be close to the truth, however, the device probably needs to come down anyway.
    I spent the last 4 years either chasing or hiding from Chinese submarines, (SSN and SSBN, respectively)
    It's been a real give and take, much like the old Cold War.

    Luckily, the Chinese submarine force is only slightly less accident prone than its predecessor, the Soviet navy.

  • EinhanderEinhander __BANNED USERS
    edited February 2008
    There is no reasoning with some of you. The absolute dipshittery in this thread is cosmic.

    Somebody PM me when you guys grow up and I'll continue to debate with you.

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Heh. Cute. Its been pointed out repeatedly that you're making a mountain out of a molehill, and all you ever do is get more pissed off and less reasonable. And we're being dipshits?

    By the by, the last post didn't prove his point, because they're planning on shooting the thing twice. Just in case the first hit doesn't completely destroy it. Makes a bit of a hash out of the "don't worry, the first hit will surely vaporize it" argument.

    Bottom line: waste of money for a dick-waving maneuver.

    EDIT: and the idea that NA is "mostly city" or that the satellite landing in NA would "most likely" hit a city is laughable. Driven through any part of the country past the Mississippi?

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    "Several hundred kilograms" is hardly a little bit, Einhander. Oh, and 200kg- the lowest number I'd expect to see called "several hundred" is 440 pounds. That's not THAT far off.

    EDIT: I'd actually wager that the chances of the missile exploding on launch and killing someone are higher than the chances of the ignored satellite coming down and killing someone. :P

    The chances of the debris killing an astronaut is higher than the chance of anyone on the ground being killed.

    Uh... space is a heck of a lot bigger than earth.

    Spoiler:

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yep, but once Piece of Crap #502656 hits the ground, its done. In orbit, it gets to keep zipping around until it gets lucky.

  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Centonias wrote: »
    I really think this is just us thumbing our nose at the Chinese for doing the same thing.

    This would be close to the truth, however, the device probably needs to come down anyway.
    I spent the last 4 years either chasing or hiding from Chinese submarines, (SSN and SSBN, respectively)
    It's been a real give and take, much like the old Cold War.

    Luckily, the Chinese submarine force is only slightly less accident prone than its predecessor, the Soviet navy.

    Any cool stories to tell us? Or is that shit classified?

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Einhander wrote: »
    There is no reasoning with some of you. The absolute dipshittery in this thread is cosmic.

    Somebody PM me when you guys grow up and I'll continue to debate with you.

    lol, the guy who is calling people stupid is complaining about immaturity. Funny that!

    ragesig.jpg

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    According to MSNBC, they now have three missiles to shoot if they need it.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • CentoniasCentonias Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Duki wrote: »
    Centonias wrote: »
    I really think this is just us thumbing our nose at the Chinese for doing the same thing.

    This would be close to the truth, however, the device probably needs to come down anyway.
    I spent the last 4 years either chasing or hiding from Chinese submarines, (SSN and SSBN, respectively)
    It's been a real give and take, much like the old Cold War.

    Luckily, the Chinese submarine force is only slightly less accident prone than its predecessor, the Soviet navy.

    Any cool stories to tell us? Or is that shit classified?

    Tons of stories, the vast majority of which would trigger a war if they got out, but one time we spent a week trailing a Chinese sub by 20 feet listening to conversations in the engineering spaces.

    Obviously they never knew it.

  • CommunistCowCommunistCow Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    EDIT: and the idea that NA is "mostly city" or that the satellite landing in NA would "most likely" hit a city is laughable. Driven through any part of the country past the Mississippi?

    I'm glad someone pointed that out. Also, Canada isn't very dense, which is also part of that crazy 'North America'.
    llama wrote:
    Uh... space is a heck of a lot bigger than earth.

    I think a greater concern is related to the space debris screwing up other satellites.

    No, I am not really communist. Yes, it is weird that I use this name.
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MSNBC reports a direct hit.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The chances of the debris killing an astronaut is higher than the chance of anyone on the ground being killed.

    llama wrote:
    Uh... space is a heck of a lot bigger than earth.

    I think a greater concern is related to the space debris screwing up other satellites.



    For most sensible people, yeah, but that wasn't what he said.

  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Why is the first thing that comes to mind a game of Battleship?

  • DukiDuki Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Centonias wrote: »
    Duki wrote: »
    Centonias wrote: »
    I really think this is just us thumbing our nose at the Chinese for doing the same thing.

    This would be close to the truth, however, the device probably needs to come down anyway.
    I spent the last 4 years either chasing or hiding from Chinese submarines, (SSN and SSBN, respectively)
    It's been a real give and take, much like the old Cold War.

    Luckily, the Chinese submarine force is only slightly less accident prone than its predecessor, the Soviet navy.

    Any cool stories to tell us? Or is that shit classified?

    Tons of stories, the vast majority of which would trigger a war if they got out, but one time we spent a week trailing a Chinese sub by 20 feet listening to conversations in the engineering spaces.

    Obviously they never knew it.

    :lol:

    Wacky commies.

    And cmon, you can't say you have stories that would trigger a war and then not tell them to us.

    That's just mean.

  • redstormpopcornredstormpopcorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    BOOM TANKSHOT

    So hey, they haven't seen any debris larger than a football and there's now a gradually-dispersing hydrazine vapor cloud starting to enter the atmosphere. Pretty sure they should have saved that Mission Accomplished banner for this. :V

    emot-kamina.gif BELIEVE IN YOU, WHO BELIEVES IN YOURSELF emot-kamina.gif
  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    BOOM TANKSHOT

    So hey, they haven't seen any debris larger than a football and there's now a gradually-dispersing hydrazine vapor cloud starting to enter the atmosphere. Pretty sure they should have saved that Mission Accomplished banner for this. :V

    That's a motherfucker of a nice explosion there. If it's not as faked as the moon landing, that is*. Thanks for the video!

    *
    Spoiler:

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
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