Pentagon to launch missiles to shoot satellite in orbit

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (KUNA) — The Pentagon is planning to shoot down a failed spy satellite before it re-enters the Earths atmosphere in early March, top US officials said.
The officials from the White House and the Pentagon made the announcement on Thursday to launch a navy missile to shoot down the 2,500 pound satellite in space, because of the risk of spreading debris and potentially hazardous fuel over hundreds of miles of the Earth’s surface.

Deputy National Security Advisor James Jeffries said the satellite, known as L-21, is expected to hit Earth in the first week of March, but could likely survive re-entry after it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.

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The Pentagon will use its Missile Defense System to try to destroy the satellite when the satellite hovers in Earth’s orbit above the Pacific Ocean.

“What makes this case is a little bit different was the likelihood that the satellite upon descent to the Earth’s surface could release much of its 1, 000-plus pounds of its hydrazine fuel as a toxic gas,” said Jeffries, at a briefing at the Pentagon.

He said it was unlikely that it would hit populated areas and eased concerns that the toxic rocket fuel posed a serious danger.

But he said “There was enough of a risk for the president to be quite concerned about human life.” General James Jeffries, Deputy National Security Advisor, said a navy missile will be fired at the satellite before re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and will try to hit the fuel tank in an effort to minimize the amount of fuel that returns to Earth.
If the shoot down attempts fail, Cartwright said the administration will have to decide on taking another shot.