US spy satellite re-entry

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by blobrana, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    A "large" US spy satellite has gone out of control and is expected to crash to Earth some time in late February or March, government sources say.

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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I'll bet the UFO people will be jumping on this one as usual.
     
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  5. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    It's an IFO, not an UFO!

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  7. Sputnik Banned Banned

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    It´ll probably hit CERN in march 2008 , and cause a black hole or a typeIa supernova ...we are all doomed....

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    :m:

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  8. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    why dont they just ask the chiness to blow it up? we all know they have the tech to do it
     
  9. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, there's about a 71% chance it will rain entirely over water.
     
  10. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    yea like they expected the russian space station to huh?

    Oh wait everyone was terrifide that would fall on Australia
     
  11. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    Hum,
    it seems the spy satellite is probably the NRO_L-21 experimental reconnaissance satellite built by Lockheed Martin and launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in December 2006 aboard a Delta2 rocket. The ground controllers lost contact with the satellite a few seconds after the satellite reached orbit.

    (There is also a smaller possibility that it is the NRO L-30 reconnaissance satellite, which could have ran out of fuel and began tumbling out of control. Being US classified missions, the mission and orbital details are restricted.)

    BTW, there are various and obvious reasons why trying to blowups the satellite with a missile is not a option.
     
  12. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    out of intrest why?

    There is no technical reasons why they couldnt. The chiness blew one of there own sats out of the air recently. Would rather they blew this one down to than it fall on my house. Sure if there is a risk of it falling on a chinese city they will blow it up, especially if its going to hit during the olympics
     
  13. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    The Russian MIR station was deliberately de-orbited, and broke apart during atmospheric re-entry over the South Pacific Ocean in March 2001.
    The US Skylab had a `uncontrolled` re-entry in July 1979.
     
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    MIR came very close to hitting Australia blobrana. Yes it landed in the ocean but there were alot of goverment officals saying that it could well have hit here. If that was a "controled re-entry" i dont really like the risks of an UNCONTROLED re-entry. Its to late when it hits the atmosphear to go "oh shit its going to hit such and such" blow it up
     
  15. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    The parts that will survive the re-entry will probably not be affected by an explosion.
    The explosion will just break up and spread the bus sized satellite over a larger area.
    This also means into higher orbits, which may also affect other satellites.
     
  16. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    When the Chinese destroyed their satellite they created a huge cloud of debris (space junk), and this debris is now endangering other satellites and all space ships which leave Earth.
     
  17. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    I don't get why they didn't fill Mir with C4 or something and detonated it afther it's last manauvre, the chuncks would have probably been small enough to lake all of it vaporate... actually I don't get why they didn't yust simply dismatled it those solar panels (the undamaged ones) could have been reused on the ISS, so would the structure that holded them, useless parts could have been individualy detached and send back to earth with supply rockets

    There where 42 hinged sollar array panels each weighting 476kg, that's nearly 20 ton (more then the initial weight of the ISS zarya)
     
  18. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    It seems it is the NRO_L-21 reconnaissance satellite...

    Source
     
  19. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Cost, and danger. Mir was old, and cramped, and to dismantle it would have taken lots of launches, and required the Space Shuttle to have been in service to ferry the parts about, but it was committed to building the International Space Station.

    Blowing it up wasn't an option either, it's not good practice to fly space missions with explosives, in fact, I doubt you are allowed to have a manned mission carry them, so it would have required a crew to be sent up to Mir, plus a 'Progress' module carrying the explosives, and that all costs money, so why spend a hundred million dollars to blow it up, when you can de-orbit it safely into the sea, for zero cost?
     
  20. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    So a few more details have emerged.
    At the time of launch the orbit was probably 351 x 365 km x 58 degrees; and due to atmospheric drag, it is currently about 269 x 273 km x 58 degrees.
    The orbit is degrading about one kilometre per day: That rate will increase until it will chaotically re-enter the atmosphere.
    The size of the satellite has been reported as being similar to a small armoured bus. most of that is expected to burn up in the atmosphere - however that are a few parts that may survive such as the stability gyroscopes and the near full titanium hydrazine fuel tanks.
     
  21. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    IMAGE (66kb, 630 x 390)

    NROL-21
    Date 29th January 2008
    Inclination 58.50°
    Period 90 min
    Perigee 271 km
    Apogee 275.1 km
     
  22. blobrana Registered Senior Member

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    Expand (63kb, 630 x 390)

    Predicted position of the NRO_L-21 spy satellite at 12:25 UT, 31st January 1008

    Source
     
  23. scotland Registered Member

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    Concerning Re-entry Eyewitness Account

    We are located in dundee facing north as the sun came up approx GMT8:15. siting lasted around 15-20 mins.

    Observed a 2 tailed object accelerating from aproximately 30dg elevation.

    the object first appeared to first have one tail around half a finger (3cm) long. As it came across our sky it developed second tail. The object now looked like the letter V. the two tails now approx a finger in length (5cm)

    there is an image that shows the directional view we had on my website but sadly i cant post links. here it is just add the www

    soulshoe.co.uk/forumpostimages/usa193yo3.gif


    I invite you all to question this sighting.

    My questions are as follows:

    Why did this object have 2 tails?

    Why did it only appear to develop the second tail around half way through the the siting in the question?

    could this prove re-entry rockets where in use?
     

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