Saturday, February 23, 2008

Conspiracy theory

Not being in the Military Industrial Complex, I have limited knowledge...

But a former comrade of mine in international relations suggests the satellite shootdown by the U.S. recently was a response to the Chinese shootdown last year of one of their own weather satellites.

Two pieces of evidence weigh in:

The Navy's stated reason for destroying the satellite was worry about environmental damage from unspent hydrazine in the satellite's fuel tank. Hydrazine is toxic in the sense that if someone is exposed to a lot, they may die, be seriously injured, or have an increased risk of developing cancer. It is not highly lethal (like VX), nor catalytic (like CFC's) nor long-lasting in the environment (like plutonium). There was no statement about where the satellite was likely to crash, so public health exposure is either an unknown or a known unlikelihood. If one looks at this from a strictly environmental perspective, the damage due to not breaking up the satellite must be weighed against the damage due to launching the SM-3, who's solid fuel is not exactly candy and puppy dogs.

What argues against this is that I already assume the U.S. had the ability to shoot down satellites. There's no point in attempting something that everyone already thinks you can do if there's a real chance you might fail. And the op might have failed.

No comments: