Satellite Shoot Down

Department of Defense Photo Essay

  • U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Jackson activates a modified tactical Standard Missile-3 from the Combat Information Center of the USS Lake Erie as the ship operates in the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008. The Aegis cruiser launched the missile at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean. The objective was to rupture the satellite's fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000 pounds of hydrazine, a hazardous material which could pose a danger to people on Earth, before it entered into Earth's atmosphere. USS Decatur and USS Russell were also part of the task force.    Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Hight
  • The USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile-3 at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008.  Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy
  • The USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile-3 at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008.  Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy
  • The USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile-3 at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008.   Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy
  • Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright (left), and Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England follow the progress of a Standard Missile-3 as it races toward a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite in space over the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20, 2008.   Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump
  • Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, informs Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates of the successful missile intercept from the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center on Feb. 20, 2008. The USS Lake Erie launched the missile at the satellite as it orbited in space at more than 17,000 mph over the Pacific.    Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam M. Stump