February 26, 2008

Pentagon Analysis Indicates Satellite Fuel Tank Hit

Pentagon analysis indicates satellite fuel tank hit WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Department of Defense announced here on Monday that based on debris analysis, officials are confident the missile intercept and destruction of an out-of-control spy satellite, achieved the objective of destroying the toxical fuel tank.

A modified tactical SM-3 missile was launched by the USS Lake Erie, positioned northwest of Hawaii, at 10:26 p.m. EST on Feb. 20,to shoot down the defunct satellite.

The satellite is the target, however, the more important thing is that the Pentagon hopes the missile can hit exactly the tank carrying toxical fuels aboard the spacecraft.

"By all accounts this was a successful mission. From the debrisanalysis, we have a high degree of confidence the satellite's fueltank was destroyed and the hydrazine has been dissipated," said James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff onMonday at the Pentagon news briefing.

The U.S. satellite shootdown action spurred significant concerns around the world. The U.S. military and government officials have stressed at several news briefings that the missionis not designed to test U.S. anti-satellite capabilities.

On Monday's briefing, Cartwright said that the other two modified missiles as backup will be configured back to their original status as tactical missiles.

The U.S. military is tracking less than 3,000 pieces of debris,all smaller than a football. The vast majority of debris has already reentered or will shortly reenter the Earth's atmosphere in the coming days and weeks. To date, there have been no reports of debris landing on Earth, according to the Pentagon.

(c) 2008 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.