Plutonium rain

  finlay.mitchel 22:34 20 Feb 2008

Hello everybody here's a cheery thought courtesy of the BBC 10 O'Clock News.

Another plutonium powered satellite has lost its orbit and will crash to Earth soon.

However its been deemed a good opportunity to flex some military muscle so the U.S. will shoot it with a volley of Cruise missiles.

Terrific.. about the only thing I remember from science class at school was that a single atom of plutonium was deadly! So toxic.

And there's me feeling guilty about another Malboro..

  anskyber 22:39 20 Feb 2008

Where did you get plutonium from? It's hydrazine an ammonia like sustance.

The BBC report. click here

  Forum Editor 22:46 20 Feb 2008

Well, it's a complex subject. As far as I'm aware, not a single person has died as a direct result of inhaling or ingesting plutonium, and in fact there are probably thousands of people happily walking around with much more than an atom of Plutonium in their bodies.

You wouldn't want to be around a biggish chunk of it however, that would almost certainly mean curtains from radiation poisoning.

  Earthsea 22:54 20 Feb 2008

They will be using the SM-3 missile which Russia is (unsurprisingly) worried about click here

I'm just worried if they miss. Where will it land?

  wiz-king 05:36 21 Feb 2008

"I'm just worried if they miss." Nonsense they are American missiles!

PS Why do they need a volley?

  wiz-king 06:37 21 Feb 2008

Strike! but is it a hole in one? Time will tell.

  crosstrainer 07:08 21 Feb 2008

A missile, fired from a US ship has hit the satellite, news conference about now.

  €dstowe 07:43 21 Feb 2008

Why won't this thing burn up due to air friction - like everything else from space does?

Or is it merely to demonstrate the US capability (or otherwise) of being able to carry out this action?

  crosstrainer 07:49 21 Feb 2008

Exactly what Russia is now saying. The thing would almost certainly have burned up on re-entry, and the chance of it landing on land was minimal. A demonstration of the USA's ability to shoot down spy satellites more likely.

  laurie53 07:54 21 Feb 2008


Talk about a pretty transparent excuse for an anti-missile test!

If the substance, whatever it is, will not burn up in the superheat of re-entry, it certainly won't burn up in the relatively much lower temperatures of conventional explosives.

  John B 08:24 21 Feb 2008

but they also said that about the success rate of the Patriot Missile system ... which wasn't the case. click here

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