Rumors and Reports of Rumors

RUMORS AND REPORTS OF RUMORS….Why are we planning to shoot down an “out-of-control, school-bus-size U.S. spy satellite”? The official story is that it’s carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic fuel that could kill a bunch of people if doesn’t burn up on reentry. But not everyone is buying the official story:

The announcement set off an immediate debate on defense blogs and among experts who questioned whether there is an ulterior motive. Some experts said the military is seizing an opportunity to test its controversial missile defense system against a satellite target.

But others noted that the Standard Missile-3 has successfully been tested against warhead targets, which are far smaller than the satellite.

“There has to be another reason behind this,” said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a liberal arms-control advocacy organization. “In the history of the space age, there has not been a single human being who has been harmed by man-made objects falling from space.”

….[Gen. James] Cartwright said that the Aegis missile system aboard the cruiser would fire an SM-3 missile with a heat-seeking nose that destroys its target by hitting it, not blowing it up. The missile, known as Block III, was developed primarily for intermediate missile defense against warheads coming in at low altitude. The Navy has spent the past three weeks modifying missile software normally set for hitting much higher targets, he said.

Asked whether the plan is really an attempt to test the Aegis system as an anti-satellite system — which would be a very controversial step internationally — Cartwright said the amount of special modifications being done to the programs used to guide the system would “not be transferable to fleet use.”

Yeah, sure. Personally, I think this is actually an ill-disguised attempt to locate the Lost castaways. And speaking of lame segues, Lost is pretty cool this season, isn’t it? Tonight’s episode was great.