Finally, Something Useful to Do with Heat Seeking Missiles

America’s military brass are surely on cloud nine tonight, as they gear up to use a $69 million toy to do something useful: blow up a spy satellite the size of a city bus. CBS news had a story on their website.

The eye in the sky is named US 193, and when it lost power late in 2006, it became uncontrollable almost immediately, beginning its long spiral down to Earth.

Imagine the admirals in a serious meeting, planning on using their heat-seeking missile for a job nobody can really argue with, defending the earth. Instead of having to defend themselves, they can crow that they are saving all of us from near disaster. While the Russians and others are not happy with government plans to deploy anti missile missiles in Poland, they can’t complain about this new use of weapons. And no doubt it will help tuning up the next generation of anti-missile missiles on the drawing board.

China has shot down one of its own weather satellites when it went off course last year, so this isn’t a first.

There are some wrinkles which may not guarantee success. The satellite is very cold, being that it’s in space, and they are using heat-seeking missiles after all. Plus they have to hit the gas tank, not just the side of the bus.