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Satellite Shoot Down - Show of Force or Safety Precaution?

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Tagged As: Military and Space

Hours after the space shuttle returned to Earth, an SM-3 missile was launched from the Pacific to intercept wayward satellite USA-193. Response to the satellite shooting from both the Chinese and Russia has been negative. The Chinese demand more information about the operation believing it to be an American show of force in response to their own anti-satellite missile launched in 2007. Meanwhile, the Russians accuse the United States of using this opportunity to test anti-ballistic missile technology under the guise of health purposes. The Russians have been adamantly opposed to the development of a missile defense shield in the west as it would shift the nuclear balance of power established by mutually assured destruction. Throughout the criticism, the Americans have stuck to their story that the satellite was shot down to minimize hydrazine exposure to humans and decrease the surviving reentry debris field.

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