No, I am not talking about that 1977 movie that is the favorite of every one I knew as a junior high school student back then. It is the big budget extravaganza, paid for by all of us American tax payers during the Reagan years. You remember, first called Star Wars, then the Missile Defense Shield and these days, a budget breaker.
Oh but wait, we can salvage part of it by taking chancy pot shots as a derelict satellite. For a mere 60 million dollars, we get to shoot one missile at one satellite. All of course because the fuel on board is toxic and we dont know where its going to land. Thats right folks, we still cant predict where it will land.
That then leads us to the real story, NSA Decides technology on board is risk to National Security. Thats right, the satellite we are talking about is the most advanced, and top secret satellite that the military has ever launched. We surely dont want that landing in the Chinese back yard intact.
(yeah, right! Who are we kidding. By the time the thing went through the atmosphere at 25,000 miles per hour, it would be more useful to a scrap dealer than a technology stealing scientist).
Oh and wait, there is a show stopper. We have the shuttle Atlantis at the international space station and cant risk losing another shuttle. So we better land it first. (DUH!....You think?)
I wonder who writes this stuff for the guys in the press room at NASA these days. it is funnier than Space Balls. And yet, we are paying for this folks. Do they honestly believe that the fuel will not ignite in 60 miles of 25,000 MPH burn out? Get real. Let it drop, quite trying to one up the Chinese, and let the Atronauts at the ISS do their jobs and come home. Number one, quit wasting or tax payer dollars NASA and get on to Mars and the real science.