Archive for the ‘heat’ Category

Shot at satellite unlikely Wednesday: official

February 20, 2008
By Andrew Gray

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military does not anticipate trying to shoot apart a defunct spy satellite on Wednesday due to rough seas in the Pacific Ocean, a senior military official said.
The U.S. Navy may make its first attempt to shoot down an errant spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel overnight on Wednesday in an area of the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii, according to U.S. officials and government documents. REUTERS/Graphics 

The U.S. Navy may make its first attempt to shoot down an errant spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel overnight on Wednesday in an area of the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii, according to U.S. officials and government documents.
REUTERS/Graphics

The official said that assessment could change but forecasts indicated the Pacific would not be calm enough for the operation. Under the Pentagon‘s plans, a Navy ship will fire a missile at the bus-sized satellite.

See the entire article and graphic:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080220/us_nm/
usa_satellite_missile_dc;_ylt=AojIuo
KCU2P1ZHwtFnxm_Ims0NUE

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Navy: Satellite in the Crosshairs

February 20, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 20, 2008

Three U.S. Navy ships have positioned themselves for an unprecedented mission: the execution of a dangerous satellite
about 150 miles above the earth.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will decide when the U.S. Navy will shoot for the first time at the rogue and out of control satellite about to reenter the Earth’s atmosphere.

The satellite, USA 193, failed soon after launch in 2006.  The satellite contains about 1,000 pounds of dangerous hydrazine fuel.  Hydrazine is toxic to man and animals.

The Navy will use a modified SM-3 missile, a product of the Aegis ballistic missile defense weapons system, to shoot down the malfunctioning satellite.  Aegis BMD has been in development since the early 1990s.

Three ships are prepared for the mission: USS Lake Erie, USS Decatur, and USS Russell.  All have the Aegis BMD system, the SM-3 missile, and significant crew training and experience.

“We all have an agreed-upon series of steps that need to be taken for this launch to be given the go-ahead,” DoD spokesman Morrell said, adding that no final decision has been made on when to make the attempt.

“The [Defense] Secretary is the one who will decide if and when to pull the trigger,” the Mr. Morrell told us. 

The launch could take place as early as 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time tonight.

After Mr. Gates gives the go ahead, this mission rests in the hands of the men and women — the sailors — of the United States Navy.  Engineers and technologists completed their work long ago.  Now sailors will do their professional best — as they always do.

The best report on this mission we saw last night and this morning came from the Army Times and appears below:

By Zachary M. Peterson – Staff writer
Army Times
February 19, 2008  

Sailors aboard the cruiser Lake Erie could attempt the Navy’s first-of-its-kind missile shot to destroy a broken spy satellite as soon as Wednesday evening, officials said Tuesday.

The Navy will use a modified SM-3 missile, leveraging the Aegis ballistic missile defense weapons system to shoot down the malfunctioning satellite, which Defense Department officials fear could potentially shower hazardous debris on Earth.
This photo released by the US Navy in 2003 shows a Standard ... 
This photo released by the US Navy in 2003 shows a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launching from the Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie. The US warship is moving into position to try to shoot down a defunct US spy satellite as early as Wednesday before it tumbles into the Earth’s atmosphere, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.
(AFP/Us Navy-HO/File) 

The launch could take place as early as 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

The missile does not contain a warhead — it destroys its target using the force of the impact.

The SM-3 is the same missile the Navy uses in its ballistic missile defense tests, but the three missiles modified for the satellite shoot-down have software alterations designed to hit the specific target, a Navy official told reporters Tuesday afternoon in a briefing at the Pentagon.

This picture released by the US Navy shows Fire Controlman 2nd ...
This picture released by the US Navy shows Fire Controlman 2nd Class John Whitby operating the radar system control during a ballistic missile defense drill on February 16 aboard the USS Lake Erie. The US warship is moving into position to try to shoot down a defunct US spy satellite as early as Wednesday before it tumbles into the Earth’s atmosphere, Pentagon officials said.
(AFP/US Navy-HO/Michael Hight)

The official requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the missile shot.

The National Geospatial Agency has issued an aircraft advisory warning aviators of hazardous operations in a large area of the North Pacific Ocean near Hawaii from 9:30 p.m. EST Wednesday evening to 12:00 a.m. Thursday setting off speculation that this will be the window the Navy uses to shoot down the satellite.

Ted Molczan, a satellite watcher who has been watching the failed spy satellite closely since its launch in 2006, has calculated it will pass directly over the area specified in the notifications for about three minutes around 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday.

The cruiser Lake Erie will take the first shot, the official said. The ship is carrying one additional modified SM-3 as well. The destroyer Decatur will provide long-range surveillance and tracking and also has one modified SM-3 aboard, the Navy source said. A third ship, the destroyer Russell, will “likely” remain pierside in Hawaii to provide backup for the Decatur, another Navy source said.

The Military Sealift Command missile range instrumentation ship Observation Island will also collect data and monitor the shoot, officials added.

Ultimately, the Navy is equipped to take three shots at the satellite, but there will be some period of time in between them, according to the Pentagon.

Officials would not specify how long they would wait to try again if the first shot misses, nor would they reveal how often the broken satellite completes an orbit over the Earth.

A typical Aegis BMD test, in which a warship destroys a test ballistic rocket fired from a range in Hawaii, lasts between 20 and 80 seconds.

The Pentagon first became aware of the potentially dangerous re-entry of the satellite early this year, according to press reports. The satellite, known as USA 193, experienced problems upon launch in 2006 and is roughly the size of school bus, DoD officials confirmed.

It took the Navy about six weeks to make the necessary modifications to the missiles and radars to “take it to sea with some degree of confidence,” the Navy official said at Tuesday’s briefing.

The Navy had no prior capability to shoot down satellites and had previously “not explored that,” the source added.

The challenge for the Navy in hitting the satellite is the nature of the target, the official said. The satellite is “bigger and faster than a missile” and the target must be hit in the fuel tank, which remains full, the official said.

The Defense Department will send out a statement within an hour of the missile’s launch, but it could take a day or longer to determine if the fuel tank was hit, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Tuesday.

The satellite does not have its own heat signature, so operators must rely on the sun to warm the target.

The official described the orbiting satellite as a “cold body in space.”

Since January 2002, the Navy has a solid rate of success in its Aegis ballistic missile defense test program, hitting 12 of 14 targets so far.

The tests have increased in complexity, most recently boasting a success hit of a separating target last December.

The cost of the shoot down is unclear, but an Aegis ballistic missile defense tests costs around $40 million, the source said. One SM-3 missile costs about $10 million.

In this image provided by the US Navy a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) ...

 In this image provided by the US Navy a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) is launched from Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) to intercept a threat representative target as part of a Missile Defense Agency test of the sea-based capability under development on Nov. 6, 2007. Taking a page from Hollywood science fiction, the Pentagon said Thursday Feb. 14, 2008 it will try to shoot down a dying, bus-size U.S. spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel on a collision course with the Earth using a SM-3 missile. The military hopes to smash the satellite as soon as next week — just before it enters Earth’s atmosphere — with a single missile fired from a Navy cruiser in the northern Pacific Ocean. Software associated with the SM-3 has been modified to enhance the chances of the missile’s sensors recognizing that the satellite is its target.
(AP Photo/US Navy)Related:
Effort to Shoot Down Satellite Could Inform Military Strategy
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U.S. Navy Setting Up To Kill Dangerous SatelliteChina: No to U.S. Missile Shot at Satellite
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Russia Says U.S. Satellite May Be “Space Weapon” Test
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AP Military Writer: Navy Satellite Shot is Controversial
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U.S. Navy Missile Destroys Dangerous Satellite

Navy Could Shoot Satellite as Early as Wednesday, Today

February 20, 2008
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Larger article moved to:
Navy: Satellite in the Crosshairs
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In this Nov 17, 2005 picture provided by the U.S. Navy, a Standard ... 
In this Nov 17, 2005 picture provided by the U.S. Navy, a Standard Missile Three (SM-3) is launched from the vertical launch system aboard the Pearl Harbor-based Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie, during a joint Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Navy test in the Pacific Ocean. The government issued notices to aviators and mariners to remain clear of a section of the Pacific beginning at 10:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 indicating the first window of opportunity to launch an SM-3 missile from the USS Lake Erie, in an effort to hit a crippled U.S. spy satellite.
(AP Photo/U.S. Navy) 

China, Vietnam Gripped Again By Mighty Winter Cold

February 18, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 18, 2008

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China’s Xinhua news agency on Monday reported on renewed cold in northern Vietnam and mountainous Yunnan province, China. 
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In Vietnam the cold killed 60,000 cattle and in China 800,000 people are stranded.
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In Vietnam the record cold killed about 7,349 cattle in Ha Giang province, 6,400 in Lao Cai and 5,571 in Bac Can province.
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In China’s Yunnan province eighty percent of the population of Qujing city remain without electricity and heat due to the combined impacts of severald cold spells.  The first heavy snows and sub zero cold hit this part of China in early January.
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About 100,000 migratory birds have disappeared in eastern China during the recent severe cold and snow.
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In Taiwan, vegetable prices are up 30 to 50% in the last three weeks due to cold weather.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua news agency, a rickshaw ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua news agency, a rickshaw paddler moves in the snow in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. The city sees the first snowfall after the Spring Festival.
(AP Photo/ Xinhua, Wang Peng)

The record cold, freezing and snow has engulfed nations and peoples from Afghanistan eastward to China since before January 1, 2008.

In Afghanistan, mountainous wild animals have come into lowland villages seeking food.

Officials in Pakistan say 1,000 people have died from exposure.In China, as the Lunar New Year was starting, 20 million migrants had family travel plans disrupted.Related:
Roughest Winter Ever in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China — Thousands Die From Exposure

180,000 stranded in southern China as cold weather returns: report

February 18, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – Freezing weather has again swept through southern China, leaving 180,000 people stranded and causing power outages, just as the region was recovering from the last cold snap, state press said Monday.

The latest cold weather has taken a severe toll in mountainous Yunnan province, where heavy snowfalls since Thursday have caused huge problems, the China Daily said.

Eighty percent of the two million residents in Qujing city remain without electricity due to the combined impacts of the most recent cold snap and the ferocious weather that first hit southern China in early January.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080218/wl_afp/
chinaweathertransport_080218060407

Debris litters the ground as policemen hold passengers outside ...
Debris litters the ground as policemen hold passengers outside Guagnzhou railway station. Freezing weather has again swept through southern China, leaving 180,000 people stranded and causing power outages, just as the region was recovering from the last cold snap, state press said Monday(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

China Races to Deliver Power, Food Before New Snowfalls

February 8, 2008

Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) — China raced to repair electricity grids and deliver food, blankets and other supplies to areas hit by the worst snowstorms in more than 50 years as new downfalls are forecast to hit the south next week.

Stranded train passengers have been cleared from stations and food prices are falling after the government released supplies from reserves, according to a statement yesterday on the Web site of China’s Cabinet, the State Council. Electricity was restored to 164 of 169 counties.

The biggest snowfalls in China since 1954 clogged road, rail and air routes as millions of migrant workers made the annual journey home for the Chinese New Year holiday. Domestic insurers have paid out 917 million yuan ($128 million) in snow- related claims, the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing the country’s disaster relief and emergency command center.

Snows and freezing rain may hit southern China early next week….

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aU.AHAG0_JoA

People line up at the one of Shanghai’s long distance bus stations in Shanghai on Jan. 30, 2008. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

Wicked winter weather tests China

February 6, 2008
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer 

BEIJING – China tackled its snow crisis with a striking — and uniquely Chinese — display of communist mass mobilization, propaganda and state control.

But for the host of the summer Olympic Games, the weather blitz also laid bare its weaknesses, stretching its transport and energy systems to the limit.

Still, the crisis has wound down just in time for the Lunar New Year holiday, and illustrates the strengths of a one-party system struggling to manage an ever more complex society.

“The essential thing is that the central government has very substantial mobilization powers,” said Joseph Cheng, chairman of the City University of Hong Kong’s Contemporary China Research Center. “Once it sets its priorities, it can really act.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_re_as/
china_defeating_the_weather_1

Related:
China: Muscle Moves Mountains of Snow, Ice

China, Vietnam: State Run Media Paint a Rosey Picture, Ignore Abuse of Populations

Millions in China to greet new year without power

February 5, 2008
By Chris Buckley

KAILI, China (Reuters) – Railways and highways were returning to normal across China on Tuesday, but millions are likely to spend the biggest holiday of the year without power and water in what for some is the coldest winter in a century.
 

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a convoy ...
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a convoy of trucks carrying coal heads to provinces hard-hit by snow and ice storms to increase coal supply and bring back power there from Erdos, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Monday, Feb. 4, 2008. The worst snowfall in decades beginning early January paralyzed cities in a part of the country.
(AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Xin)

The freezing weather in the run-up to the Lunar New Year break, which begins on Wednesday and offers the only chance for poor migrant workers to visit loved ones, has killed scores of people and left millions stranded.
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Whole cities have had their power and water cut off for more than a week and so far 11 electricians have been killed trying to reconnect lines or break ice encasing poles and cables.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, soldiers ...
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, soldiers climb the Jinggang Mountains in east China’s Jiangxi Province on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 as they are mobilized to fix power transmission lines damaged by heavy snow storms. The loss of power brought electric trains to a standstill, stranding more than 5 million holiday travelers.
(AP Photo/Xinhua, Dai Qingming)


Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080205/
ts_nm/china_weather_dc_63
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese ... 
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at a grand gathering in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 to celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day, which falls on Feb. 7 this year. Hu chaired the gathering of 4,000 people from various sections of society, Xinhua said.(AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Xueren)

China, Vietnam: State Run Media Paint a Rosey Picture, Ignore Abuse of Populations

February 5, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

According to the communist and state-controlled media of Vietnam, Vietnam won a contract this week to export 300,000 tons of rice to the Philippines.
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Great news, right?

“Just try to buy a bag of rice in the Central Highlands,” a recently arrived immigrant from Vietnam to the U.S. said to me. “You cannot afford it because it is not there. One grain of rice must be shared five ways.”

Vietnam sold one million tons of rice abroad in January.

Vietnamese rice has been exported to more than 70 countries and territories around the world including demanding markets such as the EU, the US and Japan. In 2007, Vietnam was second among the world’s rice exporters, trailing only Thailand, with an export volume of 4.3 million tons and grossing more than US$1.4 billion in export turnover, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

And in Vietnam, due to industrialization, the amount of land devoted to rice production goes down each year.  According to the communist controlled state media, Vietnam has recently lost 300,000 irrigated hectares of rice fields.

Consequently, in much of Vietnam rice is scarce — driving up the price and contributing to double-digit inflation in December alone.

In China, just a few weeks ago, all the news was terrific. Beijing was preparing for a gigantic self-love-in called the Summer Olympics, said the communist state-controlled media.

Then a man was killed in a construction accident at the Olympic site.  China has historically ignored worker safety.

Then a few other things went wrong.

A huge snowstorm brought China to its knees. Produce prices doubled and inflation set in. Cities have been without electricity, coal for heat and other necessities for more than ten days.

A crowd bigger than the entire population of Boston was stranded at a railroad station without adequate water, food or sanitary facilities. When the crowd surged forward they stampeded a rail worker to death.

A passenger past Chinese soldiers controlling access to the ...
passenger walks past Chinese soldiers controlling access to the railway station in China’s southern city of Guangzhou. China’s chief meteorologist has admitted the country was not prepared for the severe winter weather that has stranded millions of people struggling to get home for Lunar New Year.(AFP/Liu Jin)

And we discovered something: China is a winter wonderland without modern snowplows. Over one million soldiers we called out to shovel. Military vehicles like armored tanks were used instead of plows. Snipers tried to remove ice from electric power systems.

And something like 20 million migrant workers – the people that are the engine of the booming industrial economy – were unable to return home for the New Year. They were left in the snow and cold during their only opportunity to return home during the year.

The Prime Minister and President Hu Jintao did something for their people.  They said they were sorry.

胡锦涛
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao

The lesson is easy and stark.

When the media controls what the world largely hears about your nation; the “truth” is often a long way from the headlines.

“Spin” isn’t something invented or perfected by American Hollywood or sports teams. China and Vietnam know something about “spin,” where it is managed by the central government.
Nguyen Kim Hung cooks a rat at his home in Dinh Bang Village, ... 
Nguyen Kim Hung cooks a rat at his home in Dinh Bang Village, Bac Ninh Province, vietnam, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. In Dinh Bang village, just outside Hanoi, rat meat has been eaten for centuries. Rat can be prepared into many dished, most commonly to boiled and fried rat to Dinh Bang villagers.
(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)
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Rat hunter Nguyen Tien Phat, top, and his brother Nguyen Kim ...
Rat hunter Nguyen Tien Phat, top, and his brother Nguyen Kim Hung, left, drink rice wine in front of rat cuisine, boiled rat and fried rat, which is Phat caught and Hung cooked, at Hung’s home in Dinh Bang village, Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. In Dinh Bang village, just outside Hanoi, rat meat has been eaten for centuries. Rat can be prepared into many dished, most commonly to boiled and fried rat to Dinh Bang villagers.(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)

Related:
China Cracking Down on Human Rights; Ignoring Olympic Pledge

As China Olympics Nears; Pollution Fears

A Frail Economy Raises Pressure on Iran’s Rulers

February 3, 2008
The New York Times
February 3, 2008
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TEHRAN — In one of the coldest winters Iranians have experienced in recent memory, the government is failing to provide natural gas to tens of thousands of people across the country, leaving some for days or even weeks with no heat at all. Here in the capital, rolling blackouts every night for a month have left people without electricity, and heat, for hours at a time.The heating crisis in this oil-exporting nation is adding to Iranians’ increasing awareness of the contrast between their growing influence abroad and frailty at home, according to government officials, diplomats and political analysts interviewed here.

From fundamentalists to reformists, people here are talking more loudly about the need for a more pragmatic approach, one that tones down the anti-Western rhetoric….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/world/middleeast/03iran.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
A defiant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Tehran ...
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad