FIJI ON ALERT OVER DEBRIS FROM DOWNED SATELLITE

A U.S. Navy missile destroyed the satellite

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 21, 2008) - The Fiji Meteorological Service has warned that toxic fuel from a space satellite may hit islands in the region, including Fiji. It said while chances of it falling on land in Fiji were slim, it was still a possibility.

The satellite was hit by a missile fired from the USS Lake Erie in the Pacific yesterday afternoon.

"A network of land, air, sea and spaced-based sensors confirms that the US military intercepted a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite, which was in its final orbit before entering the Earth’s atmosphere," the Department of Defence said.

But it said it would be some time before it was known if the toxic fuel would reach Earth.

"The objective was to rupture the fuel tank to dissipate the approximately 1,000 pounds (453 kg) of hydrazine, a hazardous fuel which could pose a danger to people on Earth, before it entered into Earth’s atmosphere," the statement said. "Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours."

A statement from the weather office said countries like Australia and the US had been preparing contingency plans in case the toxic fuel impacted their people and Fiji needed to do the same.

It said the National Disaster Management Office has been advised of this.

The department warned that:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment