20 Feb 2008

US plans to shoot down satellite west of Hawaii

2:02 pm on 20 February 2008

The US Navy may make its first attempt to shoot down an errant spy satellite loaded with toxic fuel in an area of the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii.

A notice to mariners broadcast by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has warned of hazardous operations in the area between 0230 and 0500 GMT on Thursday.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a similar notice to pilots.

Officials say the notices are intended to clear the area of shipping and air traffic during what could be an initial attempt to down the bus-sized satellite from a U.S. Navy ship in the Pacific.

A Pentagon spokesman says no decision about when to attempt the shootdown has yet been made.