hydrazine, huh?

As I mentioned to Steven in comments to the previous post about the pending satellite shoot-em-up, I don’t buy the argument that the hydrazine in the fuel tanks is a real threat. The Cassini-Huygens probe carried plutonium aboard as a fuel source and I recall the crazies all worried it would somehow contaminate the earth if it crashed or failed on liftoff; why would hydrazine be such a big deal? A satellite coming uncontrolled down from space has only 30% chance of hitting land to begin with, and the actual populated areas of Earth where you might conceivably land on someone (ie, dense urban areas, not suburbs, farmland, desert, jungle, etc) are an even smaller target. The risk has to be infinitesimal.

So i am not surprised at all to see that there might be an ulterior motive – to show the Chinese we can.

4 thoughts on “hydrazine, huh?”

  1. Oddly enough, that was also my thought about those errant nuclear warheads on the B-52s a while back.

    Shortly before that incident, the Russians had assured the world that they didn’t need to worry about the resumption of Bear flights, since the Bears weren’t carrying nukes.

    The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard about the B-52 incident was that someone wanted to show the Russians that we’re so macho that we ship nukes around *by accident*

  2. oh right I’d forgotten all about that! that argument seems more plausible to me now than if I’d heard it before all this satellite shootdown talk.

    If I were the Russians, or the Chinese, I’d be thinking “well, at least we know where our nukes are. And we don’t lose control of OUR sats, we just blow them up when we’re really done with them.”

  3. I’m quite sure that this is the plan. Main reason? We’re firing from a cruiser. The engineering to mate a surface-to-space missile to a cruiser isn’t just a matter of bolting the launcher to the ship.

  4. I freely admit I dont know anything more than what I have magically pulled from my anterior. Still speculation is fun, conspiracy more so! 🙂

Comments are closed.