But I dunno what. I really wanted to figure out how come Cheyenne Mountain* didn't see this one coming a little in advance -- it's their job, after all. Then it turned out maybe they did. Earth orbit's not Main Street but the sky's gettin' a tad crowded. (Note linked data is NORAD-sourced but via Celestrak, a very useful service). Even so, whattaya gonna do? The Russian bird is a dead duck and the Irid-Chapter 11-ium can't dodge much even if it's got the Stoff to do so. (Not a lotta thrust there, and only so much propellent -- the oil truck, it does not stop by in orbit. Also, Iridium went Tango Uniform once already and the new owners, not so much with the ready cash). So, cross fingers and whups.
14 Feb: Update from Reuters with some, er, interesting non-comments. Oh, to have been a fly on some select walls for this one!
--You'd'a thunk one of the starship companies would have sent up a squirt-booster to salvage the Russian scrap, but hey, remember, it's a sooper-sekrit program and that sort of thing tends to tip the hand.
* A commenter -- and Wikipedia -- points out that the US/Canada sat-tracking guys and gals, best in the world, mostly do their thing from other locations these days, one at an Air Force base near Colorado Springs but not under a mountain. Which is sad but it's been awhile since even a mountain was good enough shelter if somebody really wanted to smash what was under it.
5 weeks ago