This is really, really bad news


US Military Spacecraft Explodes – March 2, 2015

The Air Force has confirmed that a [non-critical] U.S. military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature” followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control.” Dozens of debris chunks are now orbiting the Earth, putting other satellites at risk. The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.

In absolutely completely unrelated news /sarc:

New Report says China’s Space Plans Threaten U.S. Military Ability – March 2, 2015

“China is developing space technologies aimed at blocking U.S. military communications and destroying its ability to win conflicts, according to a report commissioned by a panel created by the U.S. Congress.”

“The little bit of hydrazine remaining on board is extremely safe. There was nothing to explode. That sudden spike in temperature is code-speak for ‘anti-satellite laser weapon being tried out by the Chinese, but we don’t want to accuse anybody’.” – Grunt of Monte Cristo

“Accuse anybody? Obama probably sent them flowers.” – Chrissy the Hyphenated

H/t Mindful Webworker


Filed under China, Space

9 responses to “This is really, really bad news

  1. This really was a very good (and foreboding) juxtaposition of news by Mindful. Thanks for reposting, Chrissy!


  2. Question: How come we usually find out about this kind of stuff through the European press? How come this isn’t an ABC News story with commentary about our national security?


  3. The satellite destruction has been covered on “signs currently point not to a collision with a piece of space junk or other external cause but rather to an issue aboard the spacecraft, which launched in 1995. ‘Basically, the spacecraft was 20 years old and experienced what appears to be a catastrophic event associated with a power system failure,'” Hmmm.

    c/o Gizmodo, via War News Updates.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      Hmmmmmmmm … in my limited experience here on terra firma, a failure of a power system means the power stops not that it causes an explosion. A power surge … sparks in a vapor-filled gas tank … sure, you get yourself a kaboom. But fftt “Hey the power’s out” don’t add up to no kaboom. But maybe it was backwards day up there. Or something.


    • is an industry news site. It’s not mainstream. I still don’t see why something like this wouldn’t show up on CNN, if they were actually interested in reporting news.