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    Repiglican Roast

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    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Sunday, January 27, 2008

    Spy satellite loses power, will hit Earth next month

    he satellite can no longer can be controlled, and it is unknown where on the planet it might come down, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret. It was not clear how long ago the satellite lost power, or under what circumstances.

    "Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council, when asked about the situation after it was disclosed by other officials. "Numerous satellites over the years have come out of orbit and fallen harmlessly. We are looking at potential options to mitigate any possible damage this satellite may cause."

    He would not comment on whether it is possible for the satellite to perhaps be shot down by a missile.

    A senior government official said lawmakers and other nations are being kept apprised of the situation.

    The spacecraft contains hydrazine - which is rocket fuel - according to a government official who was not authorized to speak publicly. Hydrazine, a colorless liquid with an ammonia-like odor, is a toxic chemical and can cause harm to anyone who is in contact with it.

    Such an uncontrolled re-entry could risk exposure of U.S. secrets, said John Pike, a defense and intelligence expert. Spy satellites ypically are disposed of through a controlled re-entry into the ocean so that no one else can gain access to the spacecraft, he said.

    Pike also said it is not likely the threat from the satellite could be eliminated by shooting it down with a missile because that would create debris that would then re-enter the atmosphere and burn up or hit the ground.

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