From The New York Times:
The order by President Bush for the Navy to launch an antimissile interceptor to destroy a disabled satellite before it falls from orbit carries opportunity, but also potential embarrassment, for the administration and advocates of its missile defense program.
Oh boy!! The Commanderer told the Navy to shoot down the evil space thing! This is gonna be so cool!!
Original DVD cover.
Often compared to hitting a bullet with a bullet, the shooting down of ballistic missiles with an interceptor rocket is difficult, as an adversary’s warheads would be launched unexpectedly on relatively short arcs — and most likely more than one at a time.
So it should be easier for the Standard Missile 3, a Navy weapon launched from an Aegis cruiser in the northern Pacific, to find and strike a satellite almost the size of a school bus making orbits almost as regular as bus routes around the globe, 16 times a day.
Should it succeed, the accomplishment would embolden those who champion even more spending on top of the $57.8 billion appropriated by Congress for missile defenses since the Bush administration’s first budget in the 2002 fiscal year.
It might even revive a dormant effort to focus the military on antisatellite operations, as well. Failure, on the other hand, would be cited as hard and fresh evidence for those who point to the futility of space-warfare programs.
The United States is perhaps the nation most dependent on satellites, both for commerce and for military communications, reconnaissance and targeting. And, to be sure, the Bush administration was harshly critical when the Chinese launched an antisatellite missile last year, the first time any nation had blasted an object in space in the 22 years since the United States last conducted such a test.
At the same time, however, the United States has resisted suggestions that a new arms-control regime be negotiated to govern space weapons, and has asserted its sovereign right to defend its own access to space and to deny it to others in future wars.
Wow! Just think what might be in store for Commanderer Chimpy!