Satellite shoot-down: myths and questions

The Pentagon scored a point for missile defense advocates last week, it also left some questions hanging in the air.

U.S. Navy

The Pentagon scored a point for missile defense advocates last week when an SM-3 missile launched from the USS Lake Erie whacked a defunct satellite in orbit and shattered it into thousands of tiny (and presumably harmless) pieces. But it did leave some questions hanging in the air: Was the mission really necessary? Was it worth the cost? How much of a threat was the hydrazine fuel, really? Did we escalate a space weapons race? Herewith some thoughts on those matters:

MSNBC: "Five myths about the satellite smash-up" "4 Questions from Geoff Forden"

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.


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