A Navy missile soaring 130 miles above the Pacific smashed a dying and potentially deadly U.S. spy satellite Wednesday and probably destroyed a tank carrying 1,000 pounds of toxic fuel, officials said.
Officials had expressed cautious optimism that the missile would hit the satellite, which was the size of a school bus. But they were less certain of hitting the smaller, more problematic fuel tank, whose contents posed what Bush administration officials deemed a potential health hazard to humans if it landed intact.
In a statement announcing that the Navy missile struck the satellite, the Pentagon said, "Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours." It made no mention of early indications, but a defense official close to the situation said later that officials monitoring the collision saw what appeared to be an explosion, indicating that the fuel tank was hit.
They are saying that the rest of the satellite should burn up upon reentry. There are a lot of America's enemies freaking out right about now.