Feb 21,2008 00:00
HONOLULU -- Military sources said a missile shot by a U.S. Navy cruiser in the Pacific Wednesday hit a disabled U.S. spy satellite 150 miles above Earth, CNN reported.
The Navy missile crew, which had just a seconds-long window of opportunity, made good on the shot despite having to contend with oceans swells of six to eight feet west of Hawaii, the network said.
The Pentagon wanted to take out the 5,000-pound satellite while it was still in orbit to avoid the remote possibility of it causing damage or leaking its toxic fuel if it struck the ground. The device also had to be shot while in a lower orbit so the debris wouldn't pose a hazard to other satellites or spacecraft in higher orbits.
The satellite had malfunctioned shortly after being launched in December 2006.
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