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MISSILE DEFENSE
Satellites track complete missile flight

by Staff Writers
Los Angeles (UPI) Mar 23, 2011
Two low-Earth-orbiting U.S. satellites have detected and tracked a ballistic missile launch through all phases of flight for the first time, officials said.

This birth-to-death tracking of a ballistic missile launch had never been accomplished before from space and is a significant achievement for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System spacecraft, Doug Young of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, builder of the satellites, said.

On March 16 the satellites tracked an ARAV-B short-range target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii, SPACE.com reported.

An STSS satellite detected the heat signature of the launch and then locked on to the boosting missile, Young said.

The data was relayed to the second satellite, which tracked the missile as it coasted through space, re-entered the atmosphere and splashed down in the ocean, he said.

A tracking of a complete missile firing from launch to landing has been a long-sought goal, he said.

"It's the Holy Grail for missile defense," Young said.



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Official Outlines Global Missile Defense Strategy
Washington DC (AFPS) Mar 23, 2011
U.S. efforts to build effective missile defenses are more important than ever for defending the nation and its deployed forces and for cooperating with allies and partners, a senior defense policy official said. James N. Miller, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told attendees at a missile defense conference here that the nation's missile defense efforts, while focused ... read more







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