The Pentagon plans to shoot down a disabled 5,000-pound spy satellite before it enters the atmosphere in early March, a senior Pentagon official said Thursday.You might want to double check your air travel plans in early March. No sense flying through a debris shower unless it’s absolutely necessary. You can skip checking your homeowner’s insurance for space debris coverage; even if you were covered, you know what would happen if you dared to file a claim.
The official said the operation was expected to be carried out from a Navy cruiser that would fire a missile specially fitted for the mission. Other details on the timing and location of the operation were not available, pending a Thursday afternoon briefing at the Defense Department.
And here’s the something I just learned I didn‘t know. There is actually a NASA-sponsored publication called Orbital Debris Quarterly News that keeps track of all the crap that’s hovering about in lower Earth orbit. There’s even a handy Space Missions and Orbital Box Score feature for those who really like to keep on top of these things. According to the most recent issue of ODQN, 2007 was the worst debris year ever; but I have a hunch that 2008 might be a record breaker.