Re: shoot down questions

From: Jeff Umbarger (
Date: Fri Feb 15 2008 - 08:32:58 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: shoot down questions"

    Hey Dale,
         Since the annoucement today, I've been wondering
    similar questions. But mine have more just simply to
    do with orbital mechanics in general: for sake of
    simplicity, if the satellite was a pure sphere of much
    smaller ball bearings (smaller spheres) and it
    uniformly exploded in all directions *at the moment of
    entry interface*, what would happen to all the
    "fragments"? Could any survive the next rev? Perhaps
    the half shot downwards would not survive (burn up
    immediately) and those shot opposite the velocity
    vector would re-enter before their next rev was over
    (right?). But what of those that are aligned with the
    velocity vector or the earth radial vector? The big
    question: could some particles achieve a *higher*
    (sustaining) orbit from point of explosion??? Or would
    all particles have their perigee or apogee pinned to
    the altitude of explosion and thereby decay soon?
              Jeff Umbarger
              Plano, TX USA
    --- Dale Ireland <> wrote:
    > If the satellite is hit wouldn't it actually reenter
    > sooner as small high
    > drag pieces would come down faster. It wouldn't
    > launch many fragments into
    > higher orbits would it?
    > If the satellite has a reactor that is designed to
    > survive reentry could it
    > survive a missile hit? If so could the heavy
    > reactor, now separated from the
    > rest of the craft be identifiable by its drag
    > characteristics in orbit and
    > subject to a second specific missile hit?
    > I am just assuming that the real reason for shooting
    > it down is to destroy
    > the high security parts and also avoid the
    > embarrassment of having a
    > plutonium reactor drop on an unfriendly country,...
    > like the Netherlands.
    > Dale
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