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Submission + - Call in the military to blast rogue satellite? ( 1

coondoggie writes: Will the military need to be called in to blow up the rogue Intelsat satellite meandering through Earth's orbit? Or maybe a NASA Space Shuttle could swing by and grab it? You may recall that in 2008, rather than risk the chance of a large piece of a failing spy satellite would fall on populated areas the government blasted it out of the sky. The physics of such a shot were complicated and the Navy had a less than 10 second window to hit the satellite as it passed overhead of its ships in the Pacific Ocean. But it worked.
Now word comes that a five year-old Intelsat TV satellite is meandering across Earth's orbit and any attempts to control it have proven futile. At issue now is that the satellite could smash into other satellites or ramble into other satellite orbits and abscond with its signals.

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Call in the military to blast rogue satellite?

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  • You don't *want* to blow the satellite to bits because then you have a million little destructive satellites to track instead of one big one. The 2008 situation was a special case: the satellite was already falling back to earth, so all the little bits would burn up in the atmosphere.

    Galaxy 15 was in geostationary orbit and is still at roughly that distance. The space shuttle can't reach geostationary orbit; it's too far away and the shuttle isn't built for it. When the shuttle deployed similar satellites,

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