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September 01, 2006

Missile Test Successful [AnalogKid]

Ace hasn't kicked my digital tuckus off this blog yet.

So I thought I'd pass this along ...

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said it had successfully completed an important exercise involving the launch of an improved ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack.... In the exercise, a target missile was launched from Kodiak, Alaska. And for the first time, the ground-based interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California. Previous launches have been from the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

I'm a little unclear - the article is very persistent on the fact that this is, in fact, the first successful test. But I know there have been several tests in recent months that have been deemed a success. Somebody put me some education.

They don't help by writing with a confusing tone like this ...

Officially, the $85 million test was designed to collect data rather than shoot down the target....It was the first involving a live target since interceptor rockets failed to leave their silos during tests in December 2004 and February 2005....It was also the first since the ground-based system, which is part of a layered shield that includes naval and aerial components, was activated to guard against ballistic missiles test-fired on July 4 and 5 by North Korea.

So it sounds (from al-Reuters) that "we finally did it" when my understanding is that "we've been doing it ... this is old hat."

Reuters Sux Update:

Contrast the tone above with this from the DOD PR release:

The exercise was designed to evaluate the performance of several elements of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), and mission objectives included demonstrating the ability of the Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to acquire, track and report the target warhead, and also to assess the performance of the interceptor missile’s rocket motor system and exoatmospheric kill vehicle, which is the component that collides directly with a target warhead in space to perform a “hit to kill” intercept using only the force of the collision to totally destroy the target warhead. Initial indications are that the rocket motor system and kill vehicle performed as designed. ...Although not a primary objective for the data collection flight test, an intercept of the target warhead was achieved.

So technically, the "kill" wasn't part of the test. But it would sure seem that our little overachievement would be cause for celebratory enthusiasm.

Look, maybe Reuter's tone is appropriately cautious and skeptical. But, given that DOD Missile Defense Agency isn't lying, I like the straight ahead tone so much better.

Heck, I don't need this to know Al-Reuters sucks. So there.

Ace's Note: I haven't kicked you guys off yet because I am still dragging ass two days after the move.

I'm back, but still a zombie. I don't seem to be able to sleep enough or eat enough.

Like A Viking/Boston Irish and I were discussing the increasing number of aliments (back, tendonitis, numbness in feet and legs from sitting too long, DVT, or "Deep Vein Thrombosis") that are effecting us now that we're off warranty. I'm still zonked from a move two days ago.

He told me a funny story. Well, a horrifying one. A friend of his was taking care of his baby, which fell asleep in his arms. At about the same time his foot fell asleep. (This happens to me with alarming fequency now.) So, he figures, his foot's asleep, no big deal. He'll just walk it off, walk it back awake.

As he's carrying the baby, he steps on one of the baby's toys and hears a pop. He figures he just broke the baby's toy. No big deal.

He gets the baby to bed. The paraesthesia in his foot begins to go away. He begins to feel pain.

He hadn't broken the toy; he'd snapped his ankle cleanly. But his foot was so asleep he didn't feel it for five minutes.

So, there you go. Welcome to the end of youth.


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posted by Ace at 05:00 PM

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